Galaxy S5 may feature passive stylus support and better air gestures

January 15, 2014

    Samsung Galaxy note stylus s pen aa 1 1600

    The upcoming Samsung Galaxy S5 may feature improved gesture recognition and support for passive stylus input thanks to an advanced touch controller supplied by Synaptics.

    Stifel, a major financial services firm, raised its target share price for Synaptics yesterday, and told investors that the company secured a deal with Samsung to put its new touch controller in the Galaxy S5. This isn’t a surprise, given that Synaptics, one of the largest suppliers of human interface solutions, has supplied touch controllers for both the Galaxy S4 and the Galaxy Note 3 last year.

    According to ETNews, a Korean IT news portal, the new controller from Synaptics will improve the recognition of hover gestures and bring support for passive stylus input to Samsung’s high-end devices in 2014.

    On the Galaxy S4, Samsung introduced Air View, which lets you hover your finger over the screen to interact with interface elements, much in the way you would hover the mouse cursor over an item to see its description on your PC.

    The new controller from Synaptics will make Air View more accurate and reliable, and increase the range of detection, according to ETNews, citing industry sources.

    The new controller will let Samsung equip the Galaxy S5 with support for passive styluses. Passive styluses don’t communicate with the device, the way an active stylus like the S Pen of the Note series does, acting instead like an extension of your finger. Synaptics’ touchscreen panel can recognize styluses with tips of down to 2.5pi, allowing for finer input and better handwriting recognition.

    Looking at Synaptics’ products, one controller that fits the description is the ClearPad 3350, first introduced on the Nexus 5.

    We can’t say for sure that the S5 will feature passive stylus support, but that seems a strong possibility at this point, considering Samsung’s past efforts to differentiate its flagships through new forms of input. The latest official info pegs the release of the S5 by April, and it’s likely that more and more details will leak by then.


    • MasterMuffin

      Stupid question: does Nexus 5 accept pen input??

      • Jason Yuen

        depends on the stylus. Samsung’s S-pen is not supported, but you can get universal styluses off ebay for less than $1. They generally have a soft silicone tip.

        • MasterMuffin

          I know that I was jist thinking about regular pen working as a stylus :)

          • Jason Yuen

            We used to have that ability only 4 years ago. That’s when touch screens typically used resistive technology instead of the capacitive type made popular by the original iPhone. Resistive touch screens relied on physical pressure to register a touch which meant anything could be a stylus. Capacitive proved to be more useful when we began seeing smart phones. Now with the pen/stylus making a come-back, we will start getting the best of both worlds.

            • MasterMuffin

              Yes I know, I always hated phones with resistive screen and thought “why would anyone want a touchscreen phone”. They had some good sides though, but definitely bigger bad ones!

      • Bogdan Petrovan

        It doesn’t, but the touch controller chip supports it.

        • MasterMuffin

          Yea I thought so!

    • nambinina

      Don’t understand exactly what you mean by “passive stylus support”

      • Ichibanmugen

        passive means you can use a pencil (not a special s-pen) and it will recognize it as a stylus.. passive means no interaction with the actual device, as for the s-pen, the device has to detect the s-pen in order for it to work.

      • Nathan Powell

        It doesn’t use an active sensor like in the note devices, it can detect the touch from one

    • Luka Mlinar

      More features i don’t use. Is anyone working on a long lasting battery or what?

      • Mark

        I do. But I don’t work on smartphone :)

      • pinkythefish

        i wish they would spend their billions on battery research its getting silly how utterly crap batteries are.

      • deepen915

        get a Note 3… longest lasting battery

        • Luka Mlinar

          And look like an idiot talking on a diner plate. Pass :D

          • truepopo

            is it any diffetrent than all the home phones we had for decades..nobody complained then how big they were…the note 3 is mildly bigger than the s4…nobody looks like an idiot because barely anyone talks on phones anymore..

            • Luka Mlinar

              We didn’t have a choice then. It’s like saying we didn’t coplain about about cars having a top speed of 20mph at be bigining of the last century.

    • Balraj

      That’s cool
      People who buy the device will use it
      Ppl who don’t will say, not for me lol
      Humans are humans after all…

      • n900mixalot

        I WISH people would just say, “not for me,” but instead they all clog the internet with their whining and complaints about things they don’t want.

    • Nathan Powell

      As a note 10.1 user this is nice (though I ditched my GSIII for Nexus 5 :p)

    • Brendon Brown

      I have a dream that one day Samsung makes features .. that we will actually use …

      • Keith Taylor

        Dream deferred…carry on.

      • jeff

        If I dont like something I dont buy it

    • john

      Is passive stylus something like on Ultra Z? I love my Ultra, but that little feature is never used.

    • Gawdzila

      I don’t care about air gestures, but I’d be thrilled if the S5 would feature an *active* stylus like the Note. I love using the stylus on my Note and wouldn’t want to give it up, but I do feel that the extra smidge of screen area is not worth as much as the greater ease in use and carrying from the smaller form factor. An S5-sized Note would be a perfect phone as far as I am concerned.