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Next-Gen Touchpads Respond to Pressure

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One of the projects at the User Interface Software Technology conference that took advantage of Synaptics' new pressure-sensitive "forcepad."

Credit: IDG

Researchers presenting at the recent User Interface Software Technology conference demonstrated projects that took advantage of Synaptics' new pressure-sensitive "forcepad."

More than 24 academic research groups were given the forcepads and asked to develop novel uses for the devices. A group from RWTH Aachen University created Forcepose, an application that lets Macintosh users "push" through a stack of overlapping windows, revealing the ones underneath. "We added another dimension into browsing overlapping windows," says RWTH's Christian Corsten. "Normally when you have a stack of windows you need to move them away to grab a specific window, but [with what we did] you just push through the stack of windows with your finger." Another project controls a marionette using the forcepad.

The researchers note the project would not have been possible with a traditional trackpad or touchscreen device. "They don't give pressure information, so when you touch the screen it only knows where you're touching, but not how hard," says University of Manitoba researcher Paymahn Moghadasian.

From IDG News Service 
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Abstracts Copyright © 2012 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA 


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