Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sneak Peek at Sony Ericsson GreenHeart Concept Phone


24 September 2008

Lund, Sweden – September 24, 2008 – Today marked the launch of Sony Ericssons environmental warranty, and the concept of Sony Ericsson GreenHeart™ phones, just two initiatives the company is taking to further its commitment to a sustainable future and continually reducing its impact on the environment. 

Environmental warranty

The launch of Sony Ericsson’s environmental warranty means that now, when any Sony Ericsson product is taken to a designated collection point, Sony Ericsson will recycle this product in an environmentally sound way. This warranty is valid globally, regardless of where the product was originally purchased, as Sony Ericsson strives to show its support for ‘individual producer responsibility’ (IPR).

Sony Ericsson has long-since participated in and supported the development of common industry systems that relate to the collection and recycling of old mobile phones and accessories. Launching its own collection points and system means that Sony Ericsson will be able to further strengthen its commitment to taking responsibility for the products it sold to consumers.

This new initiative has now been initiated in India, Taiwan, China, Thailand, Singapore USA and Mexico. To date, more than 500 collection points are already in operation. Sony Ericsson intends to complete this rollout by 2009 in all the countries in which it operates. The company’s solely-owned collection points will be primarily made available in those countries where the current industry-standard system of phone recycling have been judged to be too limited.

Sony Ericsson also plans to develop the way in which it spreads information about this new initiative through its customer help desks and over the internet. The aim is to give consumers easy access to information on their nearest recycling drop off point.

GreenHeart™ phones

As a company that puts environmental sustainability at the heart of its product development, Sony Ericsson wanted to explore new ideas in this area through a concept design study.

The GreenHeart™ is a full concept with all life cycle in mind it includes features such as bio-plastic housings, recycled plastic keypads, zero charger with 3.5mW standby power, HTML based e-manuals, a game style educational application ‘Ecomate’ and environmentally conscious packaging.

This concept has been shared with a few selected partners in the industry, whose response has been extremely positive. Sony Ericsson will therefore take this concept and initiate a two-way conversation with customers on what features they believe should be implemented in future phones and in what priority.

Environmentally, all of Sony Ericsson products live up to the extremely high standards that are expected by the industry. Pursuing policies such as the global phase out of unwanted substances, and being a leader in charger performance, is included in all our current product offerings. This is also recognised by external organisations worldwide, with Greenpeace, for example, naming Sony Ericsson as the ‘greenest electronics company’ for 2008. With the GreenHeart™ concept however, Sony Ericsson is looking to the future, to ensure the full life cycle of a mobile phone can be made more environmentally friendly. Once the technology reaches maturity, new techniques and materials will then be included in the portfolio and a market wide launch. One ‘eco’ product by itself will not make a difference but by learning through this concept study we are ensuring the entire portfolio in future will be more sustainable. 


Sony Ericsson takes its role in creating a sustainable future very seriously. The company continually works to improve people’s lives by following best business practices, conserving resources and protecting the environment.

Mats Pellbäck-Scharp, head of corporate sustainability for Sony Ericsson commented: ‘Building on Sony Ericsson’s existing sustainability efforts, we’re proud to have taken the next step in making our products and process more sustainable.  The global take back scheme and the GreenHeart project bring us closer to our vision of being a leader in sustainability in the mobile phone industry’.

For Sony Ericsson, our approach to sustainability is based on the following principles:

  • Safeguarding future profitability in an environmentally conscious world
  • Improving our influence on the living and working conditions of all those involved in the making of our products
  • Making a positive  impact on those who use our products
  • Improving how our products and activities impact on the environment

Other areas that the company are committed to improve include:

  • Supply chain social responsibility
  • CO2 emissions from transport and other activities
  • Reporting of impact on the environment
  • Projects to improve global social conditions in the developing world by improving communications
  • Community engagement where we operate
  • Employee empowerment and engagement

Sony Ericsson is a top global industry player with sales of over 100 million phones in 2007. Diversity is one of the core strengths of the company, with operations in over 80 countries including manufacturing in China and R&D sites in China, Europe, India, Japan and North America. Sony Ericsson was established as a 50:50 joint venture by Sony and Ericsson in October 2001, with global corporate functions located in London.
Greenpeace’s ‘Greener Electronics Guide’ is aimed to get the electronics industry to address the problem of e-waste and removing harmful chemicals in electronic products.

From Sony Ericsson

Top 14 Amazing and Futuristic Cellphone Designs....


Read full article: Mobiles

Nokia's hippy future phone

Synaptics Onyx concept phone demo - Walkthrough

TEMT-Text Enhanced Menu Telephone

A concept phone. By offering voice menu download and switch to text and show them on the display, benefit people have sight problems also avoid them lost in the complex voice guided menu system when calling public authorities.

Art Lebedev crafts its own concept phone


Read the full article: T3 The gadget mobile

The Future of Gaming on Google Android

You may have noticed that the smartphone market is no longer exclusive to corporate types in three piece suits. While those guys on Wall Street still make up a good part of the business, the regular Joe and Jane on Main Street are getting in on smartphones too, as well as their tech-savvy children.

Read more at mobile magazine

Walt Mossberg on the G1: ‘a real alternative’ to the iPhone


The G1 has only been official for an hour or so, but that hasn’t stopped Walt Mossberg from putting out his extensive pre-review first-impressions.  The man who we all thought was surgically attached to his iPhone seems particularly taken with the T-Mobile device, citing slick software, the inclusion of MMS and Street View and “more flexibility in organizing your desktop, or home screen, than the iPhone, or almost any phone”.

Read more at Android Community

New MacBook Pro with touchscreen trackpad sighted!


Now this is an interesting one - albeit one to take with a pinch of salt: a “spy shot” of the upcoming MacBook Pro seems to have dock icons on the trackpad, suggesting the laptop will essentially have a mini LED multi-touch screen. Wowzers!

Read more at Electricpig

Asus Eee PC 1000H 80G XP Mini-Notebook

Ever since the Eee PC 4G opened up the mini-notebook market last year, Asus has been pumping out different flavors of the Eee, including versions of the original with XP and models sporting slightly larger screens and a multitouch pad. With the $460 Eee 1000H 80G XP, though, Asus addresses many of the previous problems we've had with earlier mini-notebook models--and it creates a solid second-gen machine in the process.

Read more at PC World

Ten future shocks for the next 10 years

InfoWorld takes a playful look ahead at the future shocks that could occur in the next 10 years

Read more at Resellernews

Touch screen next?

What would be the next of touch screens? Read an opinion at Brighthand

Cypress’s TrueTouch™ Touchscreen Solution Awarded “Innovative Product of the Year” By Shanghai Zhang

Written by mincho2008

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Flexible PSoC®-Based TrueTouch™ Solutions Enable New, Dynamic User Experiences For Consumer Electronics Devices
BEIJING. - Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE: CY) today announced that its TrueTouch™ touchscreen solution has been named an "Innovative Product of the Year" by the Shanghai Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park. The TrueTouch offerings, based on the PSoC® programmable system-on-chip architecture, enable designers to create new user experiences for consumer electronics such as mobile handsets, portable MP3 and video players, GPS systems and other products.
TrueTouch is a single-chip touchscreen solution that can interpret touches and gestures from up to 10 inputs from all areas of the screen simultaneously. This capability, known as "multi-touch all-point" enables world-class user interfaces on mobile handsets, as well as the inputting of multiple locations into a GPS, playing video games on portable devices, and making multiple adjustments to sound and video settings on portable devices.
"We are pleased and proud to accept this award from the Shanghai Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park" said Shahin Sharifzadeh, President of Cypress’s China Business Division. "The award is symbolic of our transformation into a programmable solutions provider, as well as our expanding presence in the vibrant China market"
In addition to the multi-touch all-point products, the TrueTouch family includes devices that interpret single touches and gestures such as tap, double-tap, pan, pinch, scroll, and rotate. This combined touchscreen portfolio of solutions is the industry’s broadest. Information on the TrueTouch family, along with a video demo, is available at
Because of the flexible and programmable TrueTouch architecture, customers can choose to work with a wide variety of touchscreen vendors and/or LCD module vendors to create their designs" Other touchscreen solutions are not programmable and require designers to implement a fixed solution with limited materials choices. In addition, the TrueTouch solution utilizes the PSoC architecture’s ability to integrate additional functions such as driving LEDs, backlight control and I/O expansion. These functions, in conjunction with flexible communication options (I2C and SPI), allow for unparalleled system integration for touchscreen systems.
The TrueTouch family includes the CY8CTST1xx single-touch devices, the CY8CTMG1xx multi-touch gesture devices and the CY8CTMA120 multi-touch all point device. The products are offered in 32- and 56-pin QFN packages. A high-resolution photo is available at



Yet another low-cost multi-touch prototype

Laser Touch Audio Visual Prototype


Texture-Based Haptic Rendering System

Texture-Based Haptic Rendering System

The 10 Most Overrated Products

Hype springs eternal. Lots of technologies, products, and services don't merit the praise heaped on them. Here are 10 tech items that don't live up to their billing--and 10 that deserve respect that they don't receive.

Read full article at ArenLabs

Samsung Wannabe Apple?


One of the most impressive spectacles in the mobile phone industries in the US last year, then in Japan this year, was the people standing in line to buy Apple iPhone.

Apple was back and the response was an unprecedented welcome, which made incumbent cell phone makers feel hurt and envious. Samsung Electronics was not an exception. The South Korean handset maker tried to restore the wounded pride by pretending its new model, 'Haptic 2' was as phenomenal as iPhone. Preparation was necessary. The new phone was to be sold at only one place and a popular idol group was invited to celebrate the release.

Read more at Telecoms Korea News Service

More and More Touch Sensor Manufactured in Korea

2008/09/26 By Seol, Sung-in

The industry is accelerating their speed of development for IC chips. As touch technology becomes popular among electronic products, domestic companies are trying to develop technology to meet the growing demand.
On September 25, Melfas, Coreriver, Chemtronics and ATLab are rolling out their own products to the chip market dominated by Synaptics and Cypress.
Melfas has developed finger print identification chips in 2000. Based on this technology, it began to supply touch sensor chips to mobile phone makers in the end of 2005. The company has focused on the manufacturing of touch keys. But, it is shifting its focus to full touch screen phones. It can implement 20 channels in a chip. But, it plans to expand it to 30 channels. Its chips do not cause error and are equipped with LED control. Kim Min-chul of Melfas said, “We are cooperating with companies in Japan, China and France as well as Korea. Recently, we began to supply our products to LCD monitor makers and digital camera makers.”
Coreriver also rolled out 32 channel touch sensor chip. The product is equipped with 8 bit micro controller unit, meeting the current demand in the market. Its touch sensor is 5 times as strong as other products. The product also allows the short distance close reconition. Coreriver is trying to supply its chips to various makers including mobile phone.
ATLab received the presidential award at the semiconductor design competition in last year. It implemented the conversion of analogue touch sensor signal processing to digital technology. Its product also features lower power consumption and fast response speed. The product has been applied to various products like MP3 player, doorlocks and cookers. This year, the company tries to supply to mobile phone makers.
Chemtronics also manufactures touch sensor chips for a decade. It has supplied to LCD TV, monitors and cleaner makers, chasing its foreign competitors in the market. Early this year, it also supplied to China, enhancing the touch business.
Coreriver President Bae Jong-hong said, “As more and more domestic companies begin the touch solution business, foreign brands are also worry about the market competition. The competition will become fierce as the market shows potential.”


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Touch Screen Roundup


While most of the excitement this week has centered around T-Mobile's Android-powered G1, there were some interesting developments on the touch-screen front from Nokia (NYSE: NOK) and Research In Motion (NSDQ: RIMM). Spies were able to snag some details on the first touch-screen BlackBerry, and the first shots of Nokia's "Tube" smartphone found their way to the Web.

View full article at the Information Week

T-Mobile G1: What we didn't get


With the new T-Mobile G1, aka the HTC Dream, the Google Android OS is now a reality. The touch-screen device with the QWERTY keyboard offers a host of intriguing features but there a few things left off the list, some of which are surprising. Here's what we noticed so far.

Read more at CNET

3M Touch to exhibit at Electronica

3M Touch Systems will demonstrate its range of touch monitors, sensors and electronics for the self-service kiosk, banking and industrial markets at Electronica 2008 in Germany.

View full article at Electronicstalk

Stantum Offering Demo, Evaluation & Development Board Based on Its Patented Resistive Multi-Touch Technology


First Such Board on the Market, Stantum's SMK Series Will Let Vendors Cost-Effectively Develop Their Own Resistive Multi-Touch Applications SAN DIEGO, Sept. 23

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Stantum Technologies (, a pioneer developer of multi-touch sensingtechnology, today introduced a demo, evaluation and development board based on its patented PMatrix(TM) resistive multi-touch technology, which lets userssimultaneously move an unlimited number of fingers, nails or utensils (such as styli) on a screen.

The first such board on the market, the new SMK series enables vendors and OEMs to evaluate the performance of Stantum's technology and begin developingtheir own resistive multi-touch applications, thanks to a user-friendly interface compatible with Windows, MAC OS and Linux.

"Stantum is demonstrating that -- contrary to widespread misbelief -- multi-touch is possible with a cost-effective resistive touch-panel platform," said Chris Crotty, director of small and medium displays research at DisplaySearch, a leading provider of information, consulting and conferenceson the display supply chain and display-related industries. "With this groundbreaking announcement, Stantum is combining the best of both worlds by offering the features of projected capacitive multi-touch with the lower cost and widespread availability of resistive touch technology."

Added Guillaume Largillier, Stantum's co-founder and CEO: "Our SMK series is the smart multi-touch development kit that the consumer electronics andother industries have long anticipated. It gives manufacturers developing their hardware and applications a great opportunity to assess the hugeadvantages that multi-touch capability can offer, especially when it uses resistive technology."

SMK boards come with either a 2.5- or 3.5-inch touch-panel sensor; a multi-touch controller; Stantum's Lemurofon software, for demonstrating simplemulti-touch applications like games, picture zoom in and out, and keyboard; and a USB port.

SMK multi-touch evaluation and development boards are scheduled to be available Oct. 1. Inquiries can be made via Stantum's web site at

About Stantum Technologies

Stantum Technologies (formerly JazzMutant) has pioneered multi-touch technologies since its founding in 2002 by Guillaume Largillier and Pascal Joguet. The following year, it developed the world's first multi-touch screen that could track an unlimited number of fingers at once and in 2005 launched Lemur, the first multi-touch product available on the market. Today, Stantum's technology portfolio and product offerings cover every aspect ofmulti-touch interaction, including sensor design, multi-touch controllers, intellectual property cores, software integration, and application programminginterfaces. Stantum is headquartered in Bordeaux, France, with the U.S. accounting for about one-third of its worldwide sales.

 Editorial Contact
Neal Leavitt
Leavitt Communications
760-639-2900 or 760-212-9112

SOURCE Stantum

Via: The Earth Times

Samsung brings 8MP camera to touch phones

In addition to the just-introduced Haptic 2, Samsung has introduced a second touchscreen phone already examined by Russian site The M8800 Pixon is the first known touchscreen cellphone to carry an eight-megapixel camera and carries extra photography features normally reserved for dedicated cameras, including blink and face detection, a wide dynamic color range and image stabilization. Video capture is also sharper than most at a roughly DVD-level 720x480 at full speed.

View full article at Electronista

Interactive technology could help students feel what can't be seen


( - WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Equations or graphs can explain what happens when atoms bump into each other, but a technology called haptics could help students know how it feels.
A Purdue University researcher says haptic, or force-feedback, technology can be used in a variety of classroom subjects, especially in the sciences.
Haptics involves the use of devices, much like joysticks, that allow the user to scan over objects or surfaces and feel the interaction forces. The device measures the position of the tip of the joystick and feeds it to a computer program containing the dimensions of virtual objects, which graphically displays the object on a 3-D monitor. The program uses computer algorithms to calculate the interaction forces between the joystick tip and the virtual objects based on the object's physical properties and feeds that sensation back to the user, just as if the person were touching the objects in real life.
"It's hard to teach these topics when students can't see or feel what they are studying," said Gary Bertoline, associate dean for graduate programs and research in Purdue's College of Technology. "Through various devices that simulate physical properties, haptics allows you to feel things you can't see."


Nokia's iPhone rival due next week: sources

By Tarmo Virki

HELSINKI (Reuters) - Nokia (NOK1V.HE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will unveil its first touch-screen phone next week in a direct challenge to Apple's (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) successful iPhone, two industry sources told Reuters on Friday.

LG Electronics (066570.KS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Samsung Electronics (005930.KS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and several smaller handset vendors have rolled out their own touch-screen phones over the last two years, while the first handset using Google's Android platform will also have a touch screen.

But so far, the world's top cellphone maker, Nokia, has stuck with traditional screens.

Both sources said Nokia would unveil its new phone -- code-named "Tube" -- on October 2 at an analyst and media event in London. A Nokia spokeswoman declined to comment.

"The phone is extremely important," said Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi. "We have been waiting for the market leader to respond to Apple's iPhone for a year and a half now. There is a lot of pressure on Nokia."

Nokia shares hit 13.21 euros on Friday, down 50 percent from the start of the year in part because of the slow introduction of touch-screen models.

Milanesi said that the Finnish firm had a history of coming late to the market with innovations, and succeeding anyway.

"With 3G they were late, but they got it right. They delivered and are the market leader. They did it with slim phones. They could do it with the touch screen," she said.

Red more at Reuters

See also: Nokia's First Touchscreen Smartphone May Debut Next Week

CNET: Novint Falcon

Novint Falcon: Making virtual reality seem a little more real


London: Tom Anderson has come up with a video-game device that can simulate with unprecedented accuracy how he has been banging his head against a brick wall for the past five years.

The Novint Falcon controller is a strange contraption featuring three motorised arms attached to a ball. The arms create subtle resistance to allow games players to feel three-dimensional objects and be jolted by the impact of explosions, bullets and tight turns on a racing circuit.

But his difficulty in selling the idea of the $150 (Dh550.5) Falcon to game publishers, hardware manufacturers, console makers, retailers and the public has been a source of great frustration.

Until, that is, he came up with a new business model that broke the impasse. "For the past five years I've been telling everybody that we're going to get games [designed to be played with the controller] but people were sceptical," he says.

"They said: 'How are you going to get game support when you don't have an installed base [of players using Falcon], and how do you get an installed base if you don't have games that support it?'"

Anderson decided the solution to this conundrum would be to force a breakthrough with the games publishers. "Instead of telling publishers, 'We want you to support the Falcon,' we said, 'We want to buy the 3D touch rights to your game'."

"So instead of asking them to do something for us, we went to them and wanted to buy something that they didn't even know they had - and we were the only company that could buy it."

Novint also agreed to pay an advance on any royalties due to the publishers for the adapted versions of their games. In addition, it would do the work of incorporating the technology into the games. "There was no risk and no cost for them - it was all upside. Publishers have loved this deal," he says.

It sounds as if Novint, a small company with 35 staff, would need to have big pockets to make these sorts of payments, but the chief executive and founder says this is not the case.

He cites an example of a publisher spending $8 million to develop a game. Novint would spend about 1 per cent of this amount: $40,000 to acquire the rights and $40,000 to pay a developer to work for three months on adapting it.

Anderson, 34, began developing his ideas about touch - the field of haptics - in 1995 in the US government's Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico. He had grown up in Los Alamos, where his father had worked in Sandia's sister laboratory, focused on weapons research and design. His grandfather also worked in the Los Alamos lab on the Manhattan project, where Robert Oppenheimer developed the first atomic bomb.

Haptics project

The Novint founder, a student of electrical engineering at the University of New Mexico, joined Sandia on graduation and led a haptics project there for five years before leaving in 2000 and licensing the technology he had developed.

"I discovered I had an entrepreneurial itch so I founded Novint. It was just me to start with until another Sandia employee joined a few months later and an intellectual property lawyer from there," he recalls.

For Chrysler, for example, Novint designed haptics software in a virtual system that would allow the carmaker's testers to check the ergonomics of tuning a radio or reaching out to a cup holder during the design process. Elsewhere, it enabled the drilling of virtual teeth to a surgeon's standard.

The company was still going through tough times at this stage. "We had lots of missed payrolls and at one point I was looking at selling my car to keep us going, but we got enough contracts that we made back the back-payroll by 2003."

Novint was finally able to turn its attention to the consumer market when Anderson acquired a design for the Falcon's hardware from a company called Force Dimension, making such a device affordable for the mainstream market for the first time.

Anderson had received his initial $1.5m in funding from an incubator company called Manhattan Scientifics, with Sandia also taking stock.

He raised another $3m by going public in 2006. Anderson still owns a 10 per cent stake.

While Novint reported revenues of just $156,000 and a net loss of $4.1 million for the first six months of this year, the chief executive says it has now reached an inflection point with wide acceptance of its new business model.

Electronic Arts, the second largest video game publisher, is allowing Novint to develop versions of its Tiger Woods golf game, Madden NFL football, Need for Speed car racing and Battlefield and Mass Effect action titles.

In use, the Falcon is impressive. Players can feel their way through spaces, brush past objects and bump into trees. Touching a virtual ball in 3D, one can feel its surface change from knobbly golf ball to one of sandpaper and then slippery ice.

Via: Gulfnews

iRex announces 3 new ebook readers priced from $649 to $849


Check ZDNET Blog: iRex announces 3 new ebook readers priced from $649 to $849

BrainLAB unveils VectorVision® flex— a new space-saving navigation platform with additional 30” high-resolution, multi-touch display


WESTCHESTER, IL, USA - (HealthTech Wire/ News) - BrainLAB, a leader in software-driven systems for targeted, less-invasive medical treatments, is proud to announce its latest innovation in Image-Guided Surgery—VectorVision® flex, a small, ergonomic navigation platform coupled with an additional large, high-resolution display.

VectorVision flex* offers adaptability to meet the needs of today’s busy operating room (OR), featuring navigation controls available from the surgical field with the mobile platform or from the wall-mounted, multi-touch Digital Lightbox© display. VectorVision flex works with the hospital's existing network, for instant access to patient data.
'VectorVision flex presents maximum flexibility in the areas of modularity, connectivity and expandability,' said Stefan Vilsmeier, President and CEO, BrainLAB. 'We’re elevating Image-Guided Surgery with a navigation platform that is both efficient and cost effective for the hospital.'

Developed with flexibility in mind, VectorVision flex offers components that can be used independently or integrated with one another to address the hospital’s needs. Navigation can be conducted from within or outside of the sterile field; intra-operative imaging capabilities can be expanded with ultrasound, C-arm, iMRI and iCT integration; and collaboration and utilization can be enhanced through iPlan® Net remote treatment planning and additional network connected Digital Lightbox units installed throughout the hospital.

Digital Lightbox offers an additional 30” high-resolution display with an intuitive, multi-touch interface allowing access to patient images and surgical planning tools for manipulation of patient data pre-, intra- and post-operatively. PACS (Picture Archiving and Communications System) functionality is offered via the DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine) Query/Retrieve and can be accessed through both the navigation platform and Digital Lightbox. Data is also easily transferred via CD/DVD/USB devices.

The VectorVision flex platform's space-saving design features a small footprint camera stand that can be separated or docked and dual network connections that eliminate cumbersome cords in the OR.

VectorVision flex is on display for the first time during the 58th annual meeting of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), taking place through Sept. 25 in Orlando, Fla.

*FDA clearance and commercial availability pending

Via: HealthTechWire

Claim: Nokia's first touch phone due Oct. 2


Nokia's defining 5800 XpressMusic is due at a previously rumored October 2nd special event, claim sources for Reuters. The news outlet points to the media gathering, most likely also to include Nokia's already discussed Comes With Music plans, as the starting point for the company's first ever touchscreen phone. The device has been nicknamed the "Tube" and is widely known to be pitched as a non-smartphone but high-spec alternative to handsets like the iPhone, with a sharper 640x360 display and 3.2-megapixel camera countered by the lack of large built-in storage and reduced support for third-party apps.

Read more at electronista

Microchip Launches PICDEM Touch Sense 2 Demo Board

Microchip Technology has announced an addition to its mTouch capacitive touch offerings, the PICDEM Touch Sense 2 Demo Board (DM164128). The easy-to-use board comes with the updated, royalty-free mTouch Sensing Solution Software Development Kit (SDK) and is populated with a 16-bit PIC24FJ256GB110 microcontroller (MCU), which features an integrated Charge Time Measurement Unit (CTMU) peripheral for fast capacitive touch sensing.

This is claimed to be the world's first 16-bit MCU family with USB On-The-Go (OTG). The board and supporting materials provide a complete platform for implementing capacitive touch-sensing interfaces, without the need for external components. Additionally, with the PIC24FJ256GB110 family's peripheral integration and 256 Kbytes of Flash memory, and Microchip's free and low-cost software libraries, embedded designers can use a single MCU to cost-effectively implement a wide variety of additional user-interface functions, including QVGA touch-screen displays, speech-based audio prompts and USB connectivity.
Equipped with capacitive touch-sensing keys and sliders, the board allows designers to evaluate this interface in their applications using the Windows-based mTouch Diagnostic Tool, an easy-to-use Graphical User Interface (GUI) that is included in the mTouch Sensing Solution SDK. The software libraries, source code and other support materials that come with the board further shorten development time and reduce design costs.
"Microchip continues to be committed to making it easy and inexpensive for engineers to implement capacitive touch-sensing interfaces into their designs," said Mitch Obolsky, vice president, advanced microcontroller architecture division, Microchip. "With this new demonstration board, we are enabling designers to take advantage of the cost-effective, feature-rich and low-power PIC24F 16-bit microcontroller family in their capacitive-touch applications."
The PICDEM Touch Sense 2 demo board (DM164128) is now available at


Touchscreen Windows coming in Oct


NEEW DELHI: It’s time to put speculations at rest, software giant Microsoft has confirmed that its next operating system Windows 7, successor to Windows Vista, will be unveiled next month (28 October) at its Professional Developers Conference (PDC).
Earlier this week, Microsoft technology evangelist Mike Swanson had posted that PDC 2008 attendees will receive USB 2.0 based 160GB external HD with Windows 7 pre-beta build.
The company is also known to have added more than a dozen Windows 7-specific sessions to the PDC agenda. These include: New APIs to Find, Visualise and Organise; Integrate with the Windows 7 Desktop Taskbar and Best Practices for Developing for Windows Standard User.
In May, Microsoft publicly demoed Windows 7 at a news conference. The high point of the new OS is its "multi-touch" interface.
Other than, the touchy feely look, the demo also showed a user manipulating photos, browsing a map and playing an onscreen piano with simple one and two-finger taps and gestures.
However, the company did not confirm when it plans to ship Beta 1 of Windows 7. Microsoft plans to unveil the final version of Windows 7 around January 2010.

via IndiaTimes

Samsung intros 2nd-gen Haptic touch phone


Samsung on Friday stepped up its efforts to lead touchscreen phones with the launch of the AnyCall Haptic 2, the second generation of its device in one year to rely on its namesake vibration feedback technology to simulate physical button presses on its screen. The quick follow-up to the March original is distinguished by its customization: users can personalize the vibrate mode and have access to more than three times the number of widgets on the home screen for quick access to weather and other info.

It also brings a much sharper five-megapixel camera with flash and image stabilization as well as built-in storage of either 4GB or 16GB depending on the model.
Other features of the touch phone are similar to the first-run device but are still considered high end today, including the 3.2-inch screen, mobile banking as well as an internal DMB tuner to pick up over-the-air digital TV in Korea. The phone is available in a 4GB version as either the W550 (for the carrier SKT) or W5500 (KTF) for the equivalent of $605 and is exclusive to SKT in 16GB form as the W555, which sells for $691.
North America is unlikely to get the Haptic 2 in its existing form, though the handset is in some respects similar to the i900 Omnia; the latter is already suspected of reaching the US in a sub-variant destined for AT&T. [via Akihabara]

Novint Falcon Unboxing

Optical multi touch device prototype



Multitouch demo using Google Earth

React table at Ars Electronica 2008

People playing with the react table at Cyber Arts' Ars Electronica in Ok Museum in Linz.

T-Mobile G1 Google Android phone expanded demo

Pixcir projected capacitive multi-touch

Pixcir's solution, linearity performance


Attack of the androids: Google's new phone


The G1 phone, the first mobile handset running the new Google-backed Android software, promises to change your life. You’ll be able to locate where your friends are without having to call them. You won’t need a home computer to find the best price for a pair of shoes or a new camera; the G1 will tell you where the best price is in the nearest shop. You can leave the A-Z at home – this phone will do things no dedicated GPS device can. And in the future you might even be able to use it to pay for your groceries.

Read more at TIMESONLINE

Window to the future


MICROSOFT'S much maligned Windows Vista operating system is just weeks away from celebrating its second birthday. But its third anniversary, will, most likely, be its last. [Read more]

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Adobe's CS4 includes some multi-touch goodness

C. Sorrel, "Photoshop CS4 Exploits Mac Hardware Features,", Sept. 24, 2008.

The big Mac-specific feature is support for the multi touch pads found on the MacBooks Air and Pro. You can pinch to zoom in and out, twist the image and also "throw" the picture across the screen: if you hold the space bar down, click and drag the image when it is zoomed in and then let go, the picture will continue to move before slowing and coming to rest. It's very similar to the scrolling on the iPhone.

Visit to view full article.

Is Windows 7 Really Mojave?

M. Elgan, "Is Windows 7 Really Mojave?," Datamation, Sept. 24, 2008.

We're all familiar with Microsoft's Mojave Experiment. The company's marketing department gathered 120 Mac, Linux, Windows XP and Windows 2000 users, and showed them the next version of Windows, code-named Mojave.

After some praised Mojave, the slight of hand was revealed. No, it wasn't really a new version of Windows, but Windows Vista in disguise. Gotcha!

Visit Datamation to view full article

Microsoft vs. Apple: the multi-touch war

Z. Whittaker, Microsoft vs. Apple: the multi-touch war, ZDNET, Setp. 23, 2008.

Because the Evil Queen of Numbers has kept the Windows branch so quiet about Windows 7, we’ve been relying entirely on speculation, the blogosphere, leaks and occasionally “that dreaded New Yorker” as Sinofsky would probably say.

Multi-touch is the latest craze it seems. Once the technology was finally perfected, it went through a series of acquisitions which Apple took under its disproportionate wing; hence why we see multi-touch technology in the iPhone and iPod Touch devices. It’s taken nearly three decades to see it reach our technology, but now it’ll be what could well replace the standard keyboard and mouse. But are we ready for it?

Visit ZDNET to view full article

Touch detection system for mobile terminals


This paper illustrates a method for phones to know what a touched objects is - bare hands, cotton, and leather carrying case.

See also Apple patent US20080158147 that uses object identification to reduce unintended operations of capacitive touch screens.

Touch sensor system to detect multiple touch events

Touch sensor system to detect multiple touch events

Another patent on multi-touch detection using standard touch screens:

J. L. Sharp (Elo Touchsystems, Inc.), "Touch sensor system to detect multiple touch events," US6856259 B1, Feb. 15, 2005.

Error backpropagation neural calibration and Kalman filter position estimation for touch panels


C. Lai et al., "Error backpropagation neural calibration and Kalman filter position estimation for touch panels," in Proc. 2004 IEEE Asia-Pacific Conf. on Circuits and Systems, pp. 969-972, Vol. 2, Dec. 2004.

This paper illustrates how to calibrate five-wire resistive touch screens using neural networks. In addition, Kalman filter is applied to improve the accuracy of the estimated position.

This work develops a methodology and technique for calibration and dynamic touching position estimation of touch panels using error backpropagation neural networks (EBPNN) and Kalman filter. A neural-based calibration method is presented to determine the nonlinear mapping relationships of the measured and known touch points, and then calibrate their positions in a real-time manner. In order to obtain position estimation of fast moving points in the drawing mode, a Kalman filtering scheme is proposed to achieve a satisfactory precision.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Right Place, the Right Tool

Due to the success of iPhone, people are wildly excited for touch interface. And some guys talk about the death of mice. It's a bit exciting for me since I've been in this field for several years. But I'd like to point out that talking about the death of mice is confusing. Rather, I think it is time that each machine has its right tools to interact with men. I list my opinion on appropriate input devices for different computing devices:

Links for i-cocoon


Two more articles on i-cocoon:

Keys to the Kiosk - touch screens - Technology Information

It is a little old article, but worth while to keep: Keys to the Kiosk - touch screens - Technology Information via Find Articles at BNET

  • The temptations of touchscreens
    • Resistive
    • Capacitive
    • Acoustic Wave
    • Infrared
  • RELATED ARTICLE: The 10 Commandments of Touchscreens developer design tips
  • RELATED ARTICLE: Touch and Go
  • RELATED ARTICLE: Diff'rent Strokes for Diff'rent Folks
  • RELATED ARTICLE: comparison Shopping
  • RELATED ARTICLE: companies mentioned in this article

InfiniTouch: Touch Screen Using Force Sensing Technology

Force-based touch sensor

InfinitTouch has a new product on the market that represents a completely new approach to touch screens. The technology is called 'force panel' and product brand is InfiniTouch. Force panel improves upon existing capacitive or resistive screens with a more durable, vandal-proof construction and more design options available including integrating metal, wood or plastic into the touch sensitive surface.

The force sensors are located near the corners of the touch screen. Each force sensors detects different force according to a touch position. This differences are used to identify the exact location of the touch point (See their web site and technical document).

As a bonus, they provide a comparison table of several touch screens. Also, note that KRISS researcher is also developing a flexible touch screen based on similar technology.

From the technical point of view, I guess it is difficult, if not impossible, to measure multiple touch points simultaneously.

See also their videos.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Z-agon: a six faced video player


Z-agon is a conceptual video player with six displays, which has been developed by students at KMD (Keio Media Design). It was introduced at interaction 2008.

See also:

Multi touch tomorrow's interface

Found in slideshare.

Magnetic Levitation Haptic Interface from Butterfly Haptics


Butterfly Haptics develops 6 - 7 DOF haptic device based on the theory of magnetic levitation. The system was first developed at Carnegie Mellon in 1997 and now is commercialized. Do not place your credit card around it.

See also: Magnets Power Haptic Computer Interface

Links of Nokia Haptikos haptic touch screen

Here are some links on Nokia haptic touch screen.
Note: check a figure describing Nokia Haptikos touch screen in Popular Mechanics. It's the best illustration to understand how Haptikos works (I didn't check if it really explains corresponding patents WO 2008/037275 A1).

Multi-modal haptic research for future applications

A presentation material (PDF) for KAIST-UCLA MAE Faculty Workshop. The contents are:

  • Haptics research
  • Previous experience of TCL
  • Current issues
  • Application to mobile devices
  • Discussion

The presentation contains many intriguing projects and ideas, among which I like Rubby, a squeezable haptic device and a patent application describing a haptic display using magnetic force (see p. 28 of the presentation file).

The presenter is Dr. D. S. Gwon  who is a professor at the Telerobotics and Control Laboratory (TCL), Department ofa  Mechanical Engineering, KAIST.


See also:

Monday, September 22, 2008

Tangible and Embedded Interaction 2009


TEI’09 will be held in Cambridge, UK on February 16-18, 2009.



IADIS International Conference
Interfaces and Human Computer Interaction 2009
Algarve, Portugal
17 to 22 June 2009

Survey results on touch screen phones

5500 members of the Mokey Internet community completed a online questionnaire. Here are the results.

  • Willingness to have touch screen function in mobile phones
    • Very much want to have: 16.8%
    • Want to have: 48.1%
    • Don't feel like having: 5.7%
  • Satisfaction about touch-based phones
    • Satisfied: 68%
    • Not satisfied: 6.9%
  • Satisfaction about phones without touch screens
    • Satisfied: 49.1%
    • Not satisfied: 10.8%
  • Reason of buying touch-based phones
    • Design: 23.8%
    • Curiosity: 18.4%
    • Larger display: 18%
    • Conveneient user interface: 11.9%
  • Desired form-factor of touch-based phones
    • Slider: 17.1%
    • Bar: 46.4%
    • Foldable clam shell: 11.5%

Source: inew24 - translated page

Fingertip visual haptic sensor controller

University of Pittsburgh posted an invention that people can feel images at iBride. It is designed to help the blind or visually impaired. They say:

A small image sensor (such as a video camera or a laser range finder) and haptic stimulator (such as a vibrator) mounted on a fingertip provides tactile sensations given certain input to the image sensor. For example, an edge in the visual environment could cause vibration to be felt in the finger when it was pointed at that edge with the proper orientation. This could be used by a visually impaired person to sense doors, tables, etc. An extension of this concept to control could involve special targets that would be recognized by a computer vision system connected to the fingertip camera, such that when the finger was pointed at the target, the control signals could be issued by specific motions of the finger. For example, the target could be a computer screen containing a dot that could be moved by the finger tip, using a control feedback loop to keep the dot in the center of the camera image. Many variations on this basic concept are possible. By providing visual input and sensation to individual fingers, a new intuitive way of sensing and controling the environment will be possible.

The post does not nominate exact name of inventors. By Googling, I guess the invention came from Visualization and Image Analysis Laboratory. They are developing Fingersight TM technology that gives individual fingertips the ability to feel and control the visible environment. You can compare Fingersight with band-aid tactile display from Sungkyunkwan University.

iBride is a kind of IP research and market place platform such as SparkIP.

The iBridgeSM Network, a program of the non-profit Kauffman Innovation Network, Inc., provides the transparency and access to university developed innovations that will lead to further advances and next-generation products. The Network aggregates research materials, technologies, and discoveries in an online, easy-to-search forum—the iBridge Web Site. Innovations on the Web site range from biological cell lines to animal models to computer technologies. The range is vast and the possibilities are endless

30 Selective user interfaces from SMASHING MAGAZINE

In SMASHING MAGAZINE, I found posts introducing cool interfaces and technologies, totally 30:

Sunday, September 21, 2008

IDEO Labs touches multi-touch

IDEO is known as the most creative company in the world. Now they are also interested in multi-touch. See their works on multi-touch in IDEO Labs.

Playing with Multi-touch from IDEO Labs on Vimeo.

@Lab DigiSensor Promotion Video

ATLab DigiSensor is capacitive touch sensor with pure digital circuits. ATLab says that DigiSensor can detect very low capacitance (30fF).

ATLab DCC presentation

Touch + GPS + Inertial Sensor = Future of Mobile Search

This is a well known video of Enkin augmented reality interface developed for Android (Similar prototypes are Nokia MARA and HP Mscape). It uses low cost accelerometers, magnetic compass, and GPS.

Enkin from Enkin on Vimeo.
If Enkin interface is combined with touch and transparent OLED, it will be such like figure below:
Future of Internet Search: Mobile Version
[Figure from petitinvention]

Smart materials and new technologies

I add it to my archive because it has introductory pages about touch screens (resistive and surface capacitive) in p. 119.
D. Michelle Addingtonh and D. L. Schodek, Smart Materials and New Technologies: For the Architecture and Design Professions, Architectural Press, 2005.
Today, architects and designers are beginning to look toward developments in new "smart" or "intelligent" materials and technologies for solutions to long-standing problems in building design. However, these new materials have so far been applied in a diverse but largely idiosyncratic nature, because relatively few architects have access to information about the types or properties of these new materials or technologies. Two of the leading experts in this field - Addington and Schodek - have solved this problem by incorporating all the relevant information of all the latest technologies available to architects and designers in this one volume. They present materials by describing their fundamental characteristics, and go on to identify and suggest how these same characteristics can be exploited by professionals to achieve their design goals. Here, the wealth of technical understanding already available in the materials science and engineering literature is at last made accessible to a design audience. * A unique text that outlines the topic of smart materials from a design perspective * Learn about the latest research and practice of using smart materials and gain a better understanding on how to utilize them in architectural design * Benefit from the knowledge and insight of this experienced and respected author team.

Low cost wearable sensor for detecting electromagnetic field

Title: Electromagnetic Field Detector Bracelet

Authors: Cati Vaucelle, Hiroshi Ishii and Joe Paradiso (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT Media Lab)


In this paper we present the design of a cost-effective wearable sensor to detect and indicate the strength and other characteristics of the electric field emanating from a laptop display. Our bracelet can provide an immediate awareness of electric fields radiated from an object used frequently. Our technology thus supports awareness of ambient background emanation beyond human perception. We discuss how detection of such radiation might help to “fingerprint” devices and aid in applications that require determination of indoor location.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

SID 2009


2009 International Symposium, Seminar, and Exhibition
May 31 - June 5, 2009
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio, TX, USA

Flexible OLED from SDI

SDI revealed a foldable display at SID2008. As shown in my previous post, there are many possibilities to design a cool new product with it.

Windows 7 Multi-touch: An In-depth Look at N-Trig’s DuoSense™

I mentioned N-trig multi-touch panel several times in my previous posts. I have tried to get more information on N-trig technology and today I found a very helpful article on N-trig multi-touch technology: Windows 7 Multi-touch: an in-depth Look at N-Trig's DuoSense (UX Evangelist)

INTERNET OF SURFACES: Photo Examples of Screens of All Sizes (proof-of-concept)

From Lynn's Photos and Videos

Micro reviews on multi-touch devices

iPhone Dell Latitude XT HP Touch Smart Stantum

iPhone: Excellent, multi-touch is well combined with elegant GUI.

Dell Latitude XT:  Multi-touch zooming and panning is supplied. But its multi-touch response is quite slow.

HP Touch Smart: Multi-touch zooming is supplied only for photo browsing. In addition, you have to use two hands to activate multi-touch zooming in/out. One-hand pinching is not supplied.

Stantum: Unlike above three products, it adopts resistive touch technology. Sensitivity is improved compared with its predecessor Lemur but still far from satisfaction.

DIY capacitive touch sensing

HTC Touch Diamond

Lim Siong Boon has one-page manual of DIY capacitive touch sensing. The contents are touch sensor IC and products, touch sensor circuit, and touch sensor in action.

Selective articles on capacitive touch sensing from


Here I list useful articles on capacitive touch sensing from

Proximity sensing

Trends on touch sensing

It is now common for even relatively mundane devices, such as an electric drill or a vacuum cleaner, to use a programmable device for its control algorithms, but the same level of sophistication has yet to migrate to the user interface. Where there could now be a touch panel display and solid state relay, it is still more common to find conventional LEDs and discrete switches.

How to design capacitive touch screens

Projected-capacitance touchscreens require careful consideration of mechanical design, substrate selection and user interface design; here are some very practical tips

Enhancing your touch screen design with haptic tactile feedback

Steve Kingsley-Jones from Immersion contributed an article on haptic touch screen

The popularity of touch screens as a user input device has grown quickly. Some of the demand, as in the Apple iPhone, reflect the competitive market advantage of a superior user interface. For other applications, safety concerns, distraction issues and other usability problems need to be overcome.


MOTO Development Group

Moto Development Group

Moto Development Group is a design and engineering firm committed to delivering products.

Our methodology combines focus on innovation and consumer value with the experience of proven product development teams. We innovate, develop, and deliver. Our teams include designers, technologists, engineers and developers who understand next-generation technologies and the new products and consumer experiences these technologies will provide.

Its lab, Moto Labs has developed two multi-touch solutions: multi-touch table and sensing screen. Multi-touch table is vision-based (I guess) and sensing screen uses capacitive touch sensing.

You can find more videos of Sensing screen in YouTube: Electric Field Sensing and Electric Field Sensing II.


Force, Pressure, and Touch -
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