Samsung snags patent for new pressure sensitive touchscreens

by: Jonathan FeistMarch 7, 2014
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 jet black software touchwiz aa 3

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.


Samsung Touch Sensitive Display Patent

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?

  • JP

    I would love to see the implications

  • Nowadays, Samsung is innovating more than Apple.

    • Tanner Hoyt
      • The feature might be the same, but the method is different.

        • Tanner Hoyt

          So how are they innovating more then? They just patented an idea that Apple already patented.

          • fredphoesh

            erm pressure sensitive tablets were invented LONG before touch screen phones… so get a clue before being arrogant.

          • Tanner Hoyt

            And that has what to do with Apple patenting pressure-sensitive capacitive touchscreens?

          • Fred Brown

            No different then what apple has done ! Facetime, A7,A8, & A9 chips, all were copied by apple and they have been sued for it. Then apple copied their whole design from HTC along with camera features. All metal body and antenna bands, along with the same long slender shape for easier one handed use, then the iPhone 6s copied HTC’s 5MP front facing camera, and they copied HTC’s ZOE camera which apple calls “live photos”… Motorola was the first to feature a finger print scanner yet apple is credited for it… the list goes on. Apples camera is even a Sony sensor. All Android ideas and technology !

          • Fred Brown

            HTC had this design years before apple ! Click VIEW.

    • TheWay

      Lol! that was funny! do you know more jokes?

  • Jade Taylor

    The possibility of having a working underwater device is huge!!! There is not a display we these current touch screens that will work underwater. Waterproof phones/tablets + this tech is real good combination.

    • Fred Brown

      Sony’s phone can work up to 9ft or more under water I believe, while others simply have a oleo phobic coating to shed water.

  • a

    I assume an app could be created to convert pressure to a weight measurement adding a small but useful function to smartphones.

    • Mrrick

      Drug dealers dream come true. One less piece of paraphernalia they need to have. Ha..

      • Brahms

        Lol, never think that way :D

  • Flor Bogs

    Leave it to Samsung to always copy Apple.

    Apple is constantly filing for patents so it can sue Android OEMs and now Samsung is filing for patents too. Shame on Samsung.

    They should learn to be original and stop fooling customers into buying its products with rounded corners and pinch-to-zoom. Everyone knows that such revolutionary features are what drive customers to own Apple products.

    • hugrr

      What ‘revolutionary’ features? I haven’t seen any from Apple for a long time

      • xtriker360

        You didn’t see what he did there?

  • MrMagoo

    The S-Pen possibilities go way up!!

    • TheWay

      S-Pen it’s a useless a feature even Samsung made my point!

      • simpleas

        I swear by the spen. It made my work so much more easier. I’m always jotting stuff down and the note really helped me have something ready. Go sammy. Keep up the good work.

  • EnDee

    Might want to edit the title and the last line of the article. That’s not a patent – it’s just a publication of an application for a patent. Applications are published unless requested otherwise, but they haven’t snagged this patent yet.

    • Jonathan Feist

      Thank you EnDee.

  • Aki I.

    Are we going back to resistive screens? What’s the difference apart from the underlying tech.

    • Jonathan Feist

      Hey Aki, you nailed it actually, this is strictly a different way of handling the underlying tech, in which they simplify the electronics and, presumably, reduce costs. I can’t imagine this will hit mainstream devices, but a dedicated art or gaming device would greatly benefit from this tech.

      This could also be used to create a touchscreen videogame controller and I imagine in-car touchscreens could utilize pressure sensitive functionality. Just some ideas.

  • Ad Lazy

    Maybe well finally have our wacom competitor, because lets face it, wacom has been on top of the pressure sensitive pen display market with its stupid hardware design for far too long…

  • jhgfhjgf

    Excellent for drawing/painting/note purposes

  • Fred Brown

    In all honesty I think force touch or 3D could be useful down the road, but as of right now I think it will only complicate things for alot of users.

  • Kazekai

    You have to ask? Art applications should be ALL OVER THIS. Currently, drawing on a tablet sucks unless you pay like $80 for one of those weird disc pens and then you have to find an app that can detect it. I’d love to have a tablet that can sense pressure for portable drawing.