Looking to simplify the electronics and reduce costs of pressure sensitive touchscreens, Samsung has a patent in the works for what they call “Touch Display Apparatus Sensing Touch Force.”
The general idea is pretty simple, current pressure sensing touchscreens require the installation of additional sensors and processing to measure input. Samsung’s invention incorporates force sensing into the touchscreen itself. This is done by including a processor right into the display. Thin flexible layers of piezoresistive material, made of carbon nanotube or graphene, are layered into the display. Pressure is then measured by reading variances in resistance output produced by resistors embedded in the piezoresistive layer, which change value based on the physical pressure applied.
To complete the functions required to both operate touch commands and measure pressure, Samsung uses predefined time constants for each sensing electrode, if that time constant changes, a touch is determined to have occurred. For the full details, checkout the info for Patent Application #: US20140055407 here.
We are looking forward to seeing how this can help evolve devices with pressure sensitive touchscreens. Certainly, we look forward to seeing a greater adoption of devices with pressure sensitive displays, if only to improve our throttle and steering controls for our favorite racing games.
Aside from gaming, what do you see as being the greatest use of pressure sensitive displays?