Touchscreen Accuracy Study Crowns iPhone King

Maximum PC Staff

One of the frustrations in using a touchscreen device is they don’t seem to obey. Touching and having what you want happen is the ideal. But, it’s not uncommon to touch and have nothing happen or, better yet, touch and the wrong thing happen. The answer lies not is us or our stars, but in the underlying technology. The kind folks at Moto labs have put four touchscreen devices through their paces and have some interesting results to share .

The deal is this, says Moto: “It takes finesse to create a touchscreen system that’s pleasant to use, because touchscreens require seamless integration between hardware components, software algorithms, and user-interface design. If a manufacturer cuts corners or flubs any of the critical elements, the user’s experience with a touchscreen product is likely to suffer.” And, as Moto develops touchscreen devices, they appear to be in a position to know.

The test Moto presents is simple: how straight a line can your touchscreen draw while going slowly? Says Moto, “On inferior touchscreens, it’s basically impossible to draw straight-lines.” Why? “[B]ecause the sensor size is too big, the touch-sampling rate is too low, and/or the algorithms that convert gestures into images are too non-linear to faithfully represent user inputs.” (Drawing lightly, says Moto, will provide a ready demonstration, because that’s when the touch signal is weakest.)

Best of the bunch, which included the Apple iPhone, the HTC Droid Eris, the Motorola Droid, and the Google Nexus One, was the iPhone, but not by a whole lot. Moto says of it: “Precise lines indicate accurate representation of finger path.” But, there’s a “[n]oticeable loss of sensitivity at the edges.” Worst in the group appears to be the Motorola Droid, which performed poorly under light-and medium-pressure tests. The Nexus One, Moto says, has good edge sensitivity, similar to the HTC Droid Eris (no surprise as both use the same touch controller IC), but have lines slightly wavier than the iPhone.

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