If tablet PCs are a sign of things to come, then it looks like the lifespan of the keyboard is about to come to an end. New interface technologies, such as voice and touch, can readily replace the relatively limited input capability of a QWERTY keyboard. Cypress Semiconductor has just demonstrated what it claims to be the next advance in touch technology: true multi-touch capability.
Cypress released a video demonstration of its new technology. It claims it can equip screens from seven to 17-inches with full multi-touch capability, called “TrueTouch”, which, when available, will be Windows 7 touch-certified. The demonstration shows how current touch solutions breakdown when the number of fingers reaches three, while TrueTouch easily handles six (and is claimed to handle all ten).
Cypress sees 2010 as the year where “touchscreens become part of our everyday computer experience.” It’s betting that its TrueTouch solution will be a major player in this new market.
Nokia is looking out for its visually impaired cell phone users. While most blind people have no problem using cell phones—reading text messages presents a challenge. Short of dynamic polymers to magically create bumps on a touch screen to simulate Braille, it takes some ingenuity to try and solve this problem.
Screen reading software has been around for some time and provides an adequate solution to phone navigation and text messaging. However, a silent implementation remained out-of-reach until recently. Nokia Labs developed a solution for its latest touch screen phones that uses a combination of tactile vibration techniques to simulate Braille reading.