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Thursday, March 03, 2011
Toshiba Introduces New Multi-touch Technology

At Embedded World Toshiba Electronics Europe previewed a new technology that is set to broaden the spread of multi-point touchscreens in industrial and medical applications.

The company demonstrated a system that uses patent-pending algorithm to combine the benefits of resistive and capacitive touch sensors while overcoming limitations associated with each of these technologies.

Smartphones generally employ capacitive touchscreens that can recognise dual-touch gestures, such as pinch/zoom, but are unable to function with a pen, stylus or gloved hand. Resistive touchscreens, conversely, can accept pen, stylus and gloved inputs but do not typically support multi-touch. Resistive touchscreens cost significantly less than their capacitive equivalents, a factor that is particularly significant if touch technology is to migrate from its current bastion in high value portable consumer devices to the more cost-sensitive industrial marketplace.

Toshiba's demonstration showed a resistive touchscreen that, as well as accepting the usual pen, stylus and gloved inputs, can also interpret multi-touch gestures. The Resistive Touch Technology Demonstrator comprised an ARM9 development board front end for the touchpad and display coupled with an add-on PCB that amplifies the touch stimulus and calculates position and movement.

The technology is currently under development within Toshiba and it is planned for introduction later in the year.

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