Many laptop users consider their built-in touchpads to be a necessary compromise to ensure portability at the expense of ergonomic and functional controls. Touch technology specialist Sensel wants to improve the situation by giving the modest laptop touchpad a differentiated level of control and manipulation with the announcement of a new modular touch and haptic feedback solution.
“Previously, touch and haptic technologies were developed separately, resulting in challenging integrations for manufacturers and inconsistent performance for end customers,” said Ilya Rosenberg, CEO and co-founder of Sensel. Sensel’s approach to the touchpad integrates these two existing tactile technologies with a high-resolution capacitive touch grid pad that has been merged with a “force field technology” with which the force exerted per finger can be registered and converted into force and shape data. A haptic system with direct drive is the third and last element that offers a certain amount of force feedback and opens up the possibility of simulating shape, texture or reaction via the touchpad.
The slim three millimeter thick Sensel Haptic Touchpad also supports gesture controls, including two-finger scroll, two-finger pinch, and other multi-finger gestures that any mobile / tablet device user has become accustomed to. The technology enables more differentiated control using force detection and provides a variable scrolling speed that depends on the force of the user on the pad surface. Those working with CAD / 3D software can also use the touchpad’s multi-touch and force gestures to manipulate three-dimensional models with improved precision.
Sensel announced this technology virtually at CES 2021, more information will follow.