We recently had a chat with Godfrey Cheng and Niamh Conlon of Synaptics and they talked to us about where Synaptics is going with their latest technology. The company is already one of the leaders in terms of touch technology, however they are continually pushing the envelop with their latest generation of touchpads and touchscreens.
Synaptics as a company is probably one of the leaders in the world of touch technology, if not the leader. They pioneered the touchpad and are responsible for the clickwheel in the iPod that made it the amazing experience that it is today. While Synaptics is no longer used in Apple products because Apple develops their own touch technology, they still power some of the most well known and innovative products like the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One and Nokia Lumia line of phones.
Synaptics’ latest tech is their ClickPad 2.0 which is designed to give the perfect touchpad experience on a PC notebook with minimal thickness and maximum size and sensitivity. The new ClickPad 2.0 narrows down the components that OEMs can use in their clickpads in order to ensure that the touchpad is rigid all the way around, corner to corner, edge to edge. In addition to the improved click feedback and sensitivity, the new ClickPad also features Synaptics’ new TypeGuard which combines both software and firmware to improve palm rejection. Anyone that has typed on any laptop knows how annoying it can be to be typing and have your palm accidentally engage the touchpad.
The new TouchGuard algorithms combined with the firmware allow Synaptics to reduce or completely eliminate false cursor movements, taps and scrolling. Synaptics states that they saw a 74% improvement on false cursor movement and an elimination of false clicks and scrolling over the previous generation. As a result of their innovations, Synaptics recently was awarded a CES 2014 Innovation Award.
In addition to touchpads, Synaptics is working on active pens that will work on conjunction with their touch displays in order to delivery a high accuracy drawing solution. They can be treated as an add-on to any high-end touch screen device, but realistically these won’t be seen on anything other than professional or very high-end consumer devices like Lenovo’s ThinkPad S500 and Z400 where Synaptics is already present. Or Dell’s Venue 10 Pro tablet as well.
Last but not least is Synaptics’ own acquisition of Validity, a biometrics company. Validity’s technology is present in the HTC One Max and has been included in various PC swipeable solutions. While Synaptics only closed the acquisition last month, they are already looking to integrate Validity’s technologies into their own portfolio in ways that deliver better user experiences and secure solutions. There are multiple ways that biometric data like fingerprints can be read and as such, Synaptics is looking at multiple approaches including integrated solutions and touch screen solutions.
Synaptics is doing this because they believe that they will be able to expand their human interface solutions and be able to innovate and integrate this new biometric capabilities into their existing products. After all, biometric data is what will enable for quicker authentication when making mobile transactions or simply trying to authenticate a user account.