User:Bill Flanagan/docs/Multi-touch screens and neural networks
The iphone uses a coating that allows for the measurement of finger impact. The resistance-measuring coating feeds into a processor that does the actual calculation of the x/y coordinates as well as the measured velocity of changes in the coating.
Currently this is not handled via a discrete component but soon will be. In the next release of Windows, Microsoft will include 'multi-touch' technology for screens. Apple already uses this in the trackpads in their newer machines.
This suggests that the following components are coming to market at ridiculously low pricing:
- Materials for device skins that can be applied to create touch sensitivity. 3M currently sells such material in strips and sheets that can be applied to flat surfaces.
- Discrete processors for translating the input from multi-touch sensors into digital outputs designed to be manipulated by general purpose CPU's. An example of this would be the processors sold by Synaptics that drive the touch-pad sensors in most laptops. Synaptics is already preparing to provide their own general-purpose solution to this multitouch analysis. (http://news.cnet.com/1606-12994_3-6150132.html?tag=ne.video.6150150)