Synaptics introduces 10-finger multitouch

July 23, 2009 // 11:22 a.m.

Tags: #capacitive #clearpad #clearpad-1000 #clearpad-2000 #clearpad-3000 #multiplayer-touchscreen #multitouch #synaptics #touchscreen

A new touchpad from Synaptics promises the ability to track ten individual points of contact – potentially meaning future multitouch implementations could track the digits of both hands.

As reported over on Gizmodo, the company is looking to bring its capacitive ClearPad 3000 touchscreen tech to market in high-end smartphones and future hand-held gaming systems.

The new touchpads bring interesting possibilities, as the company claims that the use of 48 separate sensing channels and improved power management capabilities over the older ClearPad 2000 range will allow the technology to scale to screen sizes of 8 inches – introducing the potential for an advanced multitouch netbook.

As the technology is capable of tracking ten points of contact at once, Synaptics holds high hopes for its use in future gaming devices: the company claims that the ClearPad 3000 allows for “dual/multi-player gaming devices” capable of differentiating between the hands of two separate players. How usable a multi-player device with an 8” screen would be is, perhaps, questionable – but it's an interesting development nonetheless.

While the company hopes that the ClearPad 3000 will prove to be the flagship product included in the next generation of mobile devices, it hasn't forgotten the little people either: for applications where multitouch is less important than accuracy it has created the ClearPad 1000. Designed to improve the clarity of OLED displays when used as a touchscreen layer, and offering zero borders – allowing the tracking of a single digit right up to the edge of the display – it could well prove a hit with simpler devices.

Do you think that multitouch, multi-player capable systems could prove to be the future of mobile gaming, or is ten finger tracking overkill for an 8in screen? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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