Start-up promises complete touch control

April 29, 2009 // 1:01 p.m.

Tags: #anywhere-multitouch #handwriting-recognition #multitouch #reversys #sensitive-object #touch #touchpad #touch-sensitive #trackpad

Multitouch capacitive displays might be the new hotness now, but a Paris-based start-up believes that it has the next big thing on its hands: a technology which makes any part of a device touch sensitive.

As reported over on I4U yesterday, Sensitive Object has announced the Anywhere MultiTouch – a clever sound-based touch interface. Using a technology the company calls ReverSys – on which it holds a patent – and a couple of piezoelectric sensors, the Anywhere MultiTouch system is able to pick up vibrations from your fingertip travelling through the device and figure out exactly where on the device you're touching.

The technology promises full compatibility with the latest buzzwords – including multitouch support, palm rejection, and handwriting recognition along with support for Windows 7 – and the company claims the system can be used on materials including glass, aluminium, and plastic. Impressively, the Anywhere MultiTouch allows for the entire surface of a device to be rendered touch sensitive – not just the screen – with the company offering the example of a “game application running on a mobile phone [using] both the top, bottom, or rear of the handset of touch sensitive parts.

The company's chief technical officer, Bruno Thuillier, hopes that the Anywhere MultiTouch will see use in “mobile phones, netbooks, laptops, PCs, portable games terminals, and many other [devices].

Although full pricing information is only available upon request from interested OEMs, Sensitive Object claims that the technology will be made available for “a very competitive price.

Can you see the possibilities for a hand-held device where the entire surface is touch sensitive, or does moving the control away from the screen – or a specific touchpad area which maps to the screen – introduce more problems than opportunities? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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