Touchscreens have come a long way since the old PalmPilot days. While today’s mobile devices have mostly perfected the capacitive touchscreen for finger use, touchscreens have reached a point where the only innovation appears to be in increasing screen size, adding higher resolution and boosting the pixel density. But what if your smartphone or tablet could recognize different types of taps from different parts of a finger such as from the a knuckle or from a fingernail and translate them into different commands? A company called Qeexo might just have the tech that will power your future mobile device. More →
Research In Motion will finally launch its anticipated BlackBerry PlayBook tablet on April 19th, though most had initially expected it to reach consumers well before that date. According to a new report from DigiTimes, Apple may have been behind the rumored delays. The report states that RIM’s touch panel supplier, Foxlink, was so inundated with display orders from Apple that it wasn’t able to meet RIM’s manufacturing needs on time. “Sources from touch screen panel makers also pointed out that PlayBook shipments were postponed for about a month from the original schedule due to a delay in software testing as well as shortage of touch panels because Apple already booked up most of the available capacity,” the report claims. RIM’s late launch could have a significant impact on PlayBook sales, though several analysts believe the BlackBerry tablet will still sell quite well in its debut year. More →
Some might say a capacitive touchscreen that also accepts input from a stylus or a gloved finger is the white whale of the cell phone industry. Ok — most people probably wouldn’t say that. But a single touchscreen that can respond just as well to a finger as it can to a stylus is a huge breakthrough in the mobile world. This versatile display could address the U.S. and European markets just as well as it addresses Asian markets, where handwriting recognition and stylus input are requirements for many. At this year’s IFD International conference, Hitachi showed the world that we’re not as far away from these all-purpose displays as one might think. Hitachi’s new touchscreen panels definitely aren’t ready for primetime — look at how shaky those lines are — but seeds have most definitely been planted and the company thinks it should have a ready-for-market product by the end of 2011. Hit the break for a video showing off the new tech. More →
So, at this point it’s pretty safe to say touchscreen handsets are big. Like, really big. Every major mobile phone manufacturer is basically knee deep in touchscreens right now, or well on its way to being knee deep at least, and for good reason: everyone wants one. Of the major players in the handset game right now, Samsung and LG both jumped head first into the touchscreen trend over two years ago — for a while there it seemed like they forgot how to make a hardware button. It’s no mystery that touchscreens have been paying off for the manufacturers but this morning we learn Samsung and LG have each surpassed the 20 million mark where touchscreen device sales are concerned. In other words, each company is selling approximately 1.6 million touchscreen handsets per month. With people this hungry for touchscreens, those who have been slow to embrace them would be well served to jump on board; the global market for touchscreen smartphones is estimated to reach about 500 million by 2012. It’s anyone’s guess who the major touchscreen players will be by then but for the time being, it’s pretty safe to call South Korea the touchscreen capital of the world.
[Via Unwired View]
Holy rumor avalanche. Subscribing to the buckshot method as opposed to the bullet method, TheStreet has just tossed out a whole mess of Nokia rumors to ensure that at least a one or two of them hit. Let’s start at the top… Despite a stunning lack of interest throughout the lifespan of Nokia’s internet tablet line, Nokia is apparently working on yet another IT effort. Supposedly due for release before Christmas, reported specs are confined to a 4.2-inch touchscreen display and a slide out keyboard. Well, at least it’s a safe bet. Next up is a device dubbed “project Nautilus”, due out around mid to late 2010, which features a very slim touchscreen and a sensor-driven slide out QWERTY. According to the report, an ultra-thin keypad slides out from within the device when triggered by a sensor and the keys automatically rise for easier typing. Right then, moving on. A trio of new Nokia touchscreen handsets are seemingly slated for Fall 2009 featuring VibeTonz haptic feedback technology courtesy of Immersion. Very plausible — and we reeeeally hope one of them is the Aeon, wink wink. Last but certainly not least, TheStreet reaffirms that Nokia’s netbook market entrance is a done deal and it will partner with Foxconn to make it happen. Fair enough.