Touchscreen of the future: pressure sensitive, tactile smart

By Ilan Nass Fueled

It’s been a long time coming, but touchscreen technology is now in something of a golden age. This isn’t to say that it won’t continue to rise from here, of course. Even though touchscreens seem delicate to us now, they actually aren’t. We can only do so many things with touchscreens at the moment but that will soon change.

Current technology

Currently touchscreens can really only let you do simple actions, including moving from one screen to the next, zooming in or zooming out, and other similar actions. The touchscreen can tell how long you press down on a particular item, but it can’t really tell exactly how hard you press down, or what you’re pressing down with.

Evolving technology

But soon, this will all change and new technologies will come out that are more sensitive than ever before. One example includes companies like Qeexo. This company and other companies like it are creating a touchscreen that will be able to tell exactly what kind of pressure is being exerted on it.

Traditional touchscreens don’t measure anything besides the X, Y axis and length of time of contact. So essentially, they simply tell where your finger is on the screen, when it landed there, how long it’s staying there, and when it leaves. Of course, this may not even be your finger; it’s binary, either something is touching the screen or it’s not. Current companies will be adding a new characteristic to the equation, namely the type of contact that is happening in addition to the X and Y coordinates.

One of the effects of this is that you can use a knuckle tap instead of a long press. This makes it much easier to navigate the touchscreen, since long presses obviously take more time. Another consequence of this is that you can use your hand to get additional dimensions beyond just the regular flat plain.

Other technologies that have a more traditional approach to touchscreens require you to use a stylus or some special piece of equipment to add another dimension such as representing a three dimensional object in two dimensions. But this isn’t necessary with the technology that Qeexo offers. It can tell the difference between a nail and a knuckle just through quality contact. Another advantage is the fact that it can actually tell how much pressure you’re exerting on the screen. It has gradation in its contact and not just a simple binary “on or off” like current touchscreen technology.

This will have a number of implications to a wide variety of industries. For example, you will be able to develop new games that can tell how hard you want to hit an object on the screen based on how hard you press as opposed to how long your finger touches the screen. The result is a more realistic experience with how users perform actions. This also has implications for tools like visual programs, since it will make it easier for you to work in Photoshop with more intuitive controls without a lot of added hassle.

It seems that the touchscreens of the future are sure to become more sensitive and even more user friendly than the current versions.

We are, an award winning mobile app design and development house based in New York and London. At Fueled, we don't just build apps; with teams of designers, developers and strategists based in New York, Chicago and London, we create visually stunning products that redefine the technical boundaries of today's mobile development standards. We've built award-winning iPhone, iPad and Android apps used by millions of people for clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to up and coming startups including Barney's, Coca Cola, UrbanDaddy, JackThreads and MTV. We hold ourselves to the highest standard of usability, stability and design in every project that we touch.

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Featured Download

Latest Blogs

ITB in your inbox

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.