- Apr 12, 2001
DailyTechRag.com mixes some creative speculation with comments from Synaptics.
Synaptics first gained recognition for supplying the click-wheels for Apple's earlier iPods. More recently, they made headlines with a concept phone called Onyx which demonstrated a technology called "ClearPad" -- "a thin, high resolution capactitive touch screen that can be placed over any viewable surface."
Synaptics became the obvious source of the impressive touch-screen technology that was demoed on the iPhone, but Synaptics hasn't said one way or another if they are working with Apple. Regardless, there's growing industry interest in this multitouch / capacitance-based technology.
There has been speculation that Apple may adopt this touch-technology more broadly across their Mac platform. Synaptics' Clark Foy doubts that full screen touch sensitive displays are coming soon, for both cost and practical issues:
"I think that to make the entire display touch sensitive will be very expensive. You're talking about altering the whole user paradigm of having your hands down on some user input device and looking at the screen."
"You might want to do that a few times but you don't want to sit there and do it for 25, 30 minutes at a time".
Instead, Foy suggests that perhaps "simple onscreen controls that show up on the edge of the display" may be a more feasible direction and that Synaptics was already working on that sort of technology.
DailyTechRag suggests that Apple could take advantage of this sort of technology for a touch-sensitive dock, but it remains purely speculative. However, interest in this technology is clear, and with increasing availability, we could certainly see this integrated into future computers/displays.