Android phones to get a 3D Touch like touchscreen with new Synaptics touch controller
It was Apple who introduced a new idea of interacting with touch gestures, first with Force Touch and then with 3D Touch on the new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. Many have heralded it as the future of how we will interact with our phones.
Today, Synaptics has announced a new display controller called the ClearPad 3700, which the company hopes will make pressure sensitive screens the norm on many many of the 2016 flagship Android devices.
Kevin Barber, the senior vice president of Synaptics’ Smart Display Division said “This exciting next step in human interface for smartphones will soon become the norm and highlights Synaptics’ leadership in force. Early adopters of ClearForce include industry leading OEMs and LCMs seeking advanced technology that drives an enhanced and more productive user experienced.”
Some of the features of the ClearPad 3700 are very much similar to the Force/3D Touch on the new iPhones. Just as with Force/3D Touch, ClearForce adds force sensing capabilities to Synaptics’ touch controllers. This means devices using it will be able to differentiate between different levels of pressure applied to the screen. According to Synaptics, the tech will enable varied scrolling speeds, unlocking, new ways to zoom and pan over pictures, new contextual menus, and other features.
Synaptics is hoping to capture at least some part of the market for hardware that powers the third-generation force-sensing feature in next year’s Android phones. Currently, the ClearPad 3700 is in mass production.
The company did not mention if there are OEMs who will be adopting Synaptics’ ClearPad 3700 in 2016. Only time will tell how Android OEMs implement the tech in their own handsets, and if the company is successful in bringing pressure sensitive screens to the Android market in 2016. It will also be interesting to see if Google provides official support in the next major version of Android.