No, your touchscreen won’t let you rip down the street like Michael J. Fox did in Back to the Future on a hoverboard. This is taking what was once an annoying issue that plagued SurePress touchscreen technology from Research in Motion, later to be addressed with the BlackBerry Storm, and turning in to a full-fledged feature. When you have a touchscreen, it becomes an all-or-nothing affair. Either you touch it or you don’t – no longer is that the case.
Cypress Semiconductor has just announced what it calls the TrueTouch feature for touchscreen devices. In addition to the usual “tap” that you can give a touchscreen, you can hover your finger over an area and have the screen react accordingly. One application they describe uses a navigation map, when you hover your finger over a location on the map, that area can automatically enlarge to show you further details. This “hover detection” is meant to emulate the “mouseover” feature that you would have on your computer.
Cypress has set up a video demo to show off exactly how this works. It’ll be good for smartphones, to be sure, but it could easily be applied to other touchscreen devices as well. The hover support module is expected to ship to manufacturers in Q2 2010. Cypress also recently announced a highly accurate passive stylus for tips as thin as 1 mm, giving enhanced levels of accuracy and control for text entry, keyboard, handwriting recognition and other mobile apps.