Hand-held devices could soon have pressure-sensitive touch-screens and keys, thanks to a UK firm’s material that exploits a quantum physics trick.
The technology allows, for example, scrolling down a long list or webpage faster as more pressure is applied.
A division of Samsung that distributes mobile phone components to several handset manufacturers has now licensed the “Quantum Tunnelling Composite”.
The approach could find use in devices from phones to games to GPS handsets.
In January, Japanese touch-screen maker Nissha also licensed the approach from Yorkshire-based Peratech, who make the composite material QTC.
However, as part of the licensing agreements, Peratech could not reveal the phone, gaming, and device makers that could soon be using the technology to bring pressure sensitivity to a raft of new devices.
Besides control for scrolling, the pressure-sensitivity could lead to a “third dimension” in touchscreens.
For instance, instead of many “2-D” pages of applications, they could be grouped by type on a single page – using the press of a finger to dive into each type and select the desired app.