Synaptics

Jabra GO 6400 and PRO 9400 wireless headsets with touchscreen base-station

Jabra GO 6400 and PRO 9400 wireless headsets with touchscreen base-station

Jabra have announced two new wireless headset systems aimed more at deskbound workers wanting to cut their phone cords than true mobile users.  The Jabra GO 6400 (shown here) and PRO 9400 use Bluetooth and DECT respectively, and come complete with a base station with an integrated 2.4-inch capacitive touchscreen display.

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Nokia using Synaptics capacitive touchscreen for upcoming smartphone?

Nokia using Synaptics capacitive touchscreen for upcoming smartphone?

Nokia are tipped to begin using Synaptics touchscreen technology in their upcoming cellphones, with the first models using the presumably capacitive panels to launch in Q3 2009.  According to sources at Taiwan IC designers, Nokia is also considering introducing multitouch functionality to their handsets, in a move that could bring them into more direct competition with Apple and Palm.

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Sony Walkman X PMP Hands-on video demo

Sony Walkman X PMP Hands-on video demo

When I was asked late last week if the Sony Walkman X was something SlashGear would be interested in reviewing, it took all of maybe a fraction of a second to yell out YES! So am I impressed with the first ever PMP to sport an Organic light-emitting diode (OLED)? Let me just say that the display is hands-down the most gorgeous I’ve seen on any single phone or media player. Is that single factor alone enticing enough for me to give up my iPod touch? No, yes, well maybe no. I’ll have to spend a few days with the Sony Walkman X or NW-X1050 before I can give a definite yes or no.

Jump on over for the walkthrough video and image gallery.

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Apple sued over iPhone, MacBook multitouch patents

Apple is being sued by Elan Microelectronics, a Taiwanese chip designer, over alleged infringement of two touchscreen patents by its MacBook, iPhone and iPod touch ranges.  According to Elan, the contended IP covers technology used to recognize the position of a finger on a touchscreen or trackpad; they’re now pushing for an injunction against the contentious products, which – if granted – would freeze much of Apple’s range.

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BlackBerry Storm for Verizon Review Part 1

BlackBerry Storm for Verizon Review Part 1

This year has seen potentially game-changing devices from HTC, Apple, Samsung and Sony Ericsson, and now it's the turn of RIM to show us they can do more than just email.  The BlackBerry Storm marks a significant first for the company: it's the only BlackBerry to have a touchscreen and no hardware keyboard.  In the first part of our Verizon BlackBerry Storm 9530 review, we'll cover the hardware - including the unique ClickThrough touchscreen - the preinstalled software and our initial impressions, together with some preliminary battery feedback.

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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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Synaptic Waves gestures introduced

Synaptic Waves gestures introduced

 Gestures are not a new thing for laptops, however they have gained more attention as of late due to the gestures introduced on the iPhone. Even so, there were gestures for laptops though they could only be used for limited functions or were software specific.

Now, Synaptics is introducing new gestures for laptops. There's the ChiralRotate, wherein you make a circular motion with one finger, which rotates the screen. There's also the Two-Finger Flick, which can make for sideways scrolling, flipping pages or what have you.

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Synaptics add new Gestures to touchpad capabilities

Synaptics add new Gestures to touchpad capabilities

Synaptics - who, if you look in your laptop's Device Manager or equivalent, you might find make your touchpad - have announced two new gestures that their hardware supports. ChiralRotate and Two-Finger Flick will be particularly useful in photo viewing and editing apps, lending themselves naturally to - in the case of the former - rotating images, and - in the latter - moving between images.

 

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Synaptics proximity-sensing Digital Photo Frame concept

Synaptics – who are behind the trackpads found on many notebook computers – have announced the general OEM/ODM availability of their proximity sensors, which up until now have only been available in Microsoft’s Wireless Entertainment Desktop 8000 Bluetooth Keyboard.  The technology recognises user presence and can be linked to controls, backlights and other functionality; in the Microsoft keyboard, for instance, the system goes into standby mode automatically when the user moves away, saving battery life.  Synaptics have created a new digital photo frame, with proximity-controlled touch-sensitive buttons, to demonstrate possible applications.

 

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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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PRADA phone gets all official

Label-whores, mobile pros and finger-thumpers rejoice, LG have finally made official what we long expected – the PRADA phone (otherwise masquerading as the KE850) will go on sale in Europe at the end of February, followed by Asia in March. 

Overshadowed a little perhaps by both the iPhone and LG’s own legal case against Apple disputing the originality of that very handset, the KE850 has a respectable feature-set operated via a very interesting UI.  Its 12mm thin chassis packs tri-band EDGE, a 2-megapixel camera (with LED flash), microSD memory expansion of the as-yet-undisclosed internal storage, office file viewer, a DAP supporting MP3, ACC, ACC+, WMA and RA, as well as a video player compatible with MPEG4, H.263 and H.264 formats.  All of the above are accessed through a Flash-based interface developed by Pilotfish, who partnered with Synaptics to create the Onyx concept cellphone SlashGear covered last year, and whose DNA is very much present in the PRADA phone.

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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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