We interact with touchscreens on a daily basis, whether through smartphones, tablets, or checkout kiosks at the grocery stores. All of those touchscreens are capable of detecting touch, but they cannot detect or measure how hard you are touching. These devices can detect the location of touch, but not the amount of force applied. But that means that there is a third dimension – a new way to interact with the screen – currently missing.
More recently, Apple introduced the 3D Touch technology into the iPhone 6S smartphone. They achieved force sensing by placing an additional layer under the display. This layer is sensing the amount of display deflection that is caused by the user’s finger by measuring a change of capacitance.
Dimensional Touch has developed a new technology for force sensing. We can add the force sensing capability into any type of display, from 5’’ diagonal to 27’’ diagonal and higher. Our technology integrates into the display at the backplane level. By adding few ...
We interact with touchscreens on a daily basis, whether through smartphones, tablets, or checkout kiosks at the grocery stores. All of those touchscreens are capable of detecting touch, but they cannot detect or measure how hard you are touching. These devices can detect the location of touch, but not the amount of force applied. But that means that there is a third dimension – a new way to interact with the screen – currently missing.
More recently, Apple introduced the 3D Touch technology into the iPhone 6S smartphone. They achieved force sensing by placing an additional layer under the display. This layer is sensing the amount of display deflection that is caused by the user’s finger by measuring a change of capacitance.
Dimensional Touch has developed a new technology for force sensing. We can add the force sensing capability into any type of display, from 5’’ diagonal to 27’’ diagonal and higher. Our technology integrates into the display at the backplane level. By adding few additional layers (total thickness: less than 0.001 mm), we are able to use the existing manufacturing equipment to add our force sensors to the active matrix. The sensors are solid-state, and the lack of moving parts for force sensing is considered the “holy grail” of touchscreens.
There are a number of other companies trying to bring force sensing into touchscreens, but our solution is the only one that has no moving parts, is scalable to large dimensions, and is capable of integration into the display backplane using existing manufacturing equipment.
Our solution is estimated to cost similarly to the capacitive touchscreen in the mass production, which is a fraction of the cost of Apple's 3D-Touch. In addition, the 3D Touch capability has caused the display assembly in the iPhone 6S to increase by 13 g, and as a result, the new version of iPhone was for the first time heavier than the predecessor. Dimensional Touch technology would cause negligible weight increase for the display.
We have recently partnered with a major touch IC supplier to develop a joint demo. We were able to use an existing and shipping touch IC controller to read out our sensors. The demo is available on YouTube upon request.
Our next step is to scale up from our existing 1’’x1’’ device area size to a real phone-sized touchscreen. We have also identified domestic manufacturing facilities capable of running our process, and we are currently in discussion with them on the potential joint development.
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