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Synaptics Onyx Concept: Live Demo Captured on Video!

Synaptics Onyx Concept: Live Demo Captured on Video!

Twiddling your memory knobs back to August this year you might remember SlashGear's coverage of the Onyx concept phone, designed and crafted by bespoke hardware and interface designers Synaptics and Pilotfish. With no physical controls such as the keypad, joystick or scroll wheels found on traditional phones, Onyx instead relies on a system of touch, proximity and gesture.

Built around a high-resolution LCD screen and Synaptics' ClearPad touchscreen technology, a transparent touch-sensitive capacitive sensor, Onyx can discriminate between one and two finger use and can even tell when it is being held against a cheek. This opens up whole new avenues of interface design: pop-up onscreen scrollwheels for volume and moving through contact and media lists, "flicking away" text messages to send them, dragging photos and files from screen to screen.

SlashGear has been lucky enough to visit Synaptics and get a live demonstration of Onyx, from none other than their Human Interface Architect, John M. Feland. Under the ever watchful eye of Clark Foy, the company's marketing VP, we filmed some exclusive footage of the prototype in action. The ethos of Onyx is "All About Fun", about using technology in a humanistic way; hopefully you'll have fun looking at what might just be the phone of the future.

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Synaptics Fuse concept packs smartphone with squeeze, stroke & scroll sensors [Video]

Synaptics Fuse concept packs smartphone with squeeze, stroke & scroll sensors [Video]

The last Synaptics concept we really got excited about was the Onyx smartphone - in fact we went all the way to the company's head office to play with their prototype - and now they're back with a new smartphone idea.  The Synaptics Fuse takes multitouch capacitive sensing and throws in force, grip and proximity sensing, along with haptic feedback and 3D graphics.  The end result is a squeezable smartphone that spreads its sensors not only across the touchscreen but down the sides, too, so as to be fully usable even with just one hand.  Fuse is a collaboration between Synaptics, TI, Immersion, TheAlloy and The Astonishing Tribe, and is based on a TI OMAP 3630 processor and a 3.7-inch WVGA AMOLED touchscreen.

Video demo after the cut

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BlackBerry Storm ClickThrough uses Synaptics ClearPad tech

BlackBerry Storm ClickThrough uses Synaptics ClearPad tech

While the dual CDMA and HSDPA of the Verizon Wireless BlackBerry Storm has caused a few double-takes, it's the unique ClickThrough touchscreen display that has prompted the most column-inches about the smartphone today.  ClickThrough takes advantage of the latest capacitive touchscreen technology and a layer of tactile sensors just beneath it; the top layer is used to gesture, scroll and highlight, while pressing down and through to the sensors gives true "click" feeling similar to that of the BlackBerry trackball.  The system uses Synaptics' ClearPad, a custom multitouch-capable module first seen on the Onyx concept

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Synaptics Boomerang universal remote concept with Multitouch capacitive touchscreen

Synaptics Boomerang universal remote concept with Multitouch capacitive touchscreen

Synaptics are no strangers to the pages of SlashGear, and we've been lucky enough to have hands-on experience in the past with their clever touchscreen concept cellphone.  Back in those pre-iPhone days the idea of an intuitive multitouch UI on a mobile device was pretty far-fetched, with Windows Mobile offering little in the way of finger-friendliness.  Now Synaptics are back with their latest reference design; called 'Boomerang', it's a multi-device remote control that uses the company's capacitive touch-sensitive panels.

 

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Synaptics OneTouch

Synaptics OneTouch

SlashGear are big fans of Synaptics - their Onyx concept cellphone that we featured last year seems to have a whole lot in common with a certain mobile telephone with a fruit-themed manufacturer - and so we're pleased to be able to break the news of their latest development designed to bring advanced touch-sensitive interfaces to mainstream mass produced products.  Taking advantage of the company's capacitive-sensing technology, the Synaptics OneTouch solution combines both the hardware as well as GUI-based design and development tools together with a comprehensive library of documentation covering everything from conception to mass production.

Synaptics has always produced custom solutions for manufacturers, but OneTouch will fill a market niche where in-house development is a time-driven necessity:

"The Synaptics OneTouch toolset has been built specifically to help Synapticsí customers design capacitive interface solutions that will enhance the usability and industrial design of their products.  The simplified design process encapsulated in the Synaptics OneTouch solution will enable customers to explore the possibilities of capacitive sensing quickly and more autonomously" Synaptics Press Release

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Onyx scoops Interaction & Communication award

Onyx scoops Interaction & Communication award

Looks like some congratulations are in order!  Our friends over at Synaptics have been awarded the red dot online design concept award for Interaction & Communication for their Onyx prototype, as exclusively featured on SlashGear back in October 2006.  Onyx is a new paradigm in gesture interface, where users control their cellphones via one and two-fingered sweeps, flicks and shapes.

We're still waiting to see the first commercial application of the technology, which combined Synaptics' proximal sensor pads and Pilotfish's GUI design, so let's hope that 2007 is the year for it!  Congratulations again, guys.

red dot online [via Coolest Gadgets]

Microsoft and Synaptics combine forces to create the Ultimate keyboard – Updated!

Microsoft and Synaptics combine forces to create the Ultimate keyboard – Updated!

SlashGear are big fans of Synaptics, human interface and hardware boffins behind the Onyx Concept phone, so it's good to hear that something they've been developing will be hitting the shelves a little sooner than the gesture-sensitive cellphone. Microsoft has decided to squeeze three of Synaptics capacitive sensing modules inside their Wireless Entertainment Desktop 8000 Bluetooth keyboard, marking the technology's further movement into consumer electronics.

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Synaptics and Pilotfish Collaborate to Develop Next Generation Mobile Phone Concept

Synaptics and Pilotfish Collaborate to Develop Next Generation Mobile Phone Concept

After Apple's drearily uninteresting Bumnote, sorry, Keynote earlier this month, I've been waiting for my electronic twiddly bits to get perked up by some exciting tech news. I think today might be the day...

SlashGear has received a press release and an internal document about Onyx, a collaborative cellphone project by touch-sensor specialists Synaptics and industrial design wizards Pilotfish. Unlike many concepts, where a sleek, headline grabbing shell either runs standard software or nothing at all, or a new platform runs on bland reference hardware, part of the charm of Onyx comes from the harmony of the software/hardware interface. In fact it's this interface - and your interaction with it - that potentially makes Onyx the product of 2006.

Synaptics and Pilotfish Collaborate to Develop Next Generation Mobile Phone Concept
"The real meaning of this product is about opening up the channels between hand, eyes, and device, and giving people access to actions and information in a way not possible with conventional buttons" [Brian Conner, Pilotfish]

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