ATLANTA – Today, NextInput demonstrated a force sensitive touch surface called “POC2”. The demonstration illustrates the technical viability of NextInput’s ForceTouch® set of solutions. ForceTouchsenses both the location and amount force when a user touches a ForceTouch surface, enabling rich and unique 3D touch interfaces.
“This is a very important development milestone”, says CEO Don Metzger. “POC2 shows that our unique, patent-pending, multi-touch solutions provide key differentiators over existing touch technology. This step is one of many that our team is taking to ensure that NextInput touch technology will become the dominant solution in smartphones, tablets, large format touch displays, and a universe of other consumer touch applications in the near future.”
POC2 uses tiny force sensors underneath a touch surface, such as a piece of glass or LCD display. ForceTouch sensors are sensitive enough to detect minute deflections of the touch surface – on the order of nanometers of deflection – and the extremely small forces that result.
When a user presses down on the touch surface with one or more fingers, the ForceTouch sensor array detects different levels of force corresponding to the location and amount of force of each touch. Proprietary microcontroller algorithms and conditioning electronics then allow a microprocessor to reproduce the “force profile”, a picture of the touch events occurring along the touch surface.
ForceTouch is less expensive and uses less power than capacitive touch technology in the current generation of smartphones and tablets. ForceTouch can also scale more easily than capacitive solutions, enabling much larger (>100”) touch displays.
ForceTouch and POC2 have the ability to detect touches from any object including fingers, gloves, and styluses. Because ForceTouch recognizes force, not just location, the technology can improve everyday touch tasks like selecting and copying text, drawing on a tablet, scrolling through a document or map, and entering text.
The company plans to provide one-on-one demonstrations of POC2 to dozens of world-class companies in the touch technology industry beginning in April.
NextInput is an Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) company founded by Georgia Tech engineers and business professionals. NextInput is developing the next generation of human input technology for electronic devices, and the company’s touch solutions solve a number of key pains in a rapidly growing, $6 billion industry.
NextInput solutions, including ForceTouch®, are less expensive, consume less power, and provide better user benefits than existing touch technology for smartphones, tablets, and large format touch displays. The company is forming charter partnerships now with world-class companies in the mobile and display space – by 2014, NextInput touch solutions will be commonplace in a wide variety of electronics products.