By now we're all used to multi touch capacitive displays where the slightest brush of our fingers can zoom and pan the application. At Embedded World in Nuremburg, Toshiba showed off their prototype of a Resistive Multi-touch display using an ARM Cortex-M3 micro-controller. Most people don't have any problems with just using a capacitive screen, but in industrial and medical applications it's often necessary for the users to wear gloves, negating the benefit of capacitive screens. Resistive screens are also much less expensive than their same-sized capacitive counterparts, and are often more durable. Toshiba will have the ability to market this technology to touchscreen markets from ATM's to Point of Sale registers and beyond.
Simon Flatt, Toshiba's rep at the Embedded World show said about the prototype, "What Toshiba has done is they've come up with a very clever algorithm that allows a typical resistive touch screen to become a pinch and zoom, multitouch touch screen." Toshiba plans to develop an ASSP (application specific standard product) that will turn this prototype into a product that can be added onto a standard resistive touch screen to provide the multi touch capability. This chip will be able to add multitouch functionality to the single point input resistive displays that are already in the field. Flatt said that this should hit the market within the next couple of months.
This video, taken by ARM at the Embedded World show, shows the function of Toshiba's new prototype. Those are Flatt's fingers demonstrating a simple pan-and-zoom of a photograph using the pinch style of multi touch gesture. That's seriously nifty.