3D Touch for Android: Synaptics is building pressure sensitive displays


The big new feature on the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus is 3D Touch. To put it simply, it’s a display with pressure sensitivity sensors. It allows the phone to distinguish between light and hard presses, something that’s useful for accurate drawing, advanced zooming and easily accessing different levels of menus (light press for previewing an email, hard press to go full-screen with it, for instance).

huawei mate s apple

What if we told you that tech could find its way into your next Android phone? Synaptics, the company responsible for nearly every touch controller in a laptop touchpad (including Apple’s ForceTouch pad on the new Macbook Air) has announced a next-generation display controller with the technology built-in. They’re calling it ClearForce, and it’ll be featured in the Synaptics 3700 series to start.

Synaptics suggests they’re already in talks with major OEMs to get the displays into 2016 flagships. One such manufacturer might be Huawei, who actually beat Apple to the pressure sensitive punch with the Huawei Mate S’s Force Touch display (only available in the 128GB premium model). The only problem with that is Huawei hasn’t actually gotten their device onto store shelves yet — Apple has.

If Huawei is indeed using Synaptics’ Series 3700 controller, that would explain why they haven’t been quick to launch their device — it just hit mass production, with units expecting to be available in large supply at some point this quarter.

We’d find it hard to believe Huawei will be the only company to take advantage of the display technology for 2016 now that Apple has paved the way for touch sensitivity, so we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for other major OEMs to announce plans to bring ClearForce to their smartphones in the near future. Would you want this feature for your next Android phone? Sound off ahead!

[via Synaptics]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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