ATLANTA – NextInput, an Atlanta-based technology development company focused on creating new methods of human-machine interaction, announced the completion of the second iteration of its ForceTouch MEMS sensor prototype. The company completed two wafers – approximately 5,000 sensors – at the Georgia Tech Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology.
“Our team is very proud of this achievement,” says NextInput Chief Technology Officer Ryan Diestelhorst. “These sensor prototypes represent months of research and development, and our R&D team is excited to begin testing, characterization, and prototyping with these new devices.”
NextInput plans several more prototype iterations of the ForceTouch sensor to perfect sensor design and manufacturing processes before ForceTouch sensors are ready for mass production by a commercial foundry in beginning in 2013.
“Our goal is to begin full-scale production of ForceTouch sensors in Q3 of 2013,” says NextInput COO Ian Campbell. “Our strategy has been to perform the bulk of the high-risk R&D at Georgia Tech, which maintains one of the world’s premier research clean rooms. Once we achieve the perfect sensor design and a stable, repeatable manufacturing process, we will work with our world-class foundry partners to begin full scale manufacturing of our ForceTouch sensors.”
Following testing and characterization of its ForceTouch sensors, the company intends to qualify the sensors for consumer electronics, automotive, biomedical, and military touch applications. When placed into an array and scanned with NextInput’s proprietary firmware and interfacing electronics, ForceTouch sensors have the ability to detect the location and magnitude of force of multiple touch points along a touch surface such as a touchpad or touchscreen.
The company worked closely with the Georgia Tech Institute for Electronics and Nanotechnology, which is part of the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network.
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