The holy grail of touchscreen technology, a display that allows both capacitive and resistive touch inputs, may soon be a reality. Startup company Touchco has developed their own touchscreen technology that’s not only cheaper than current capacitive touchscreens but also supports pressure-based inputs. Touchco today unveiled their Interpolating Force-Sensitive Resistance (IFSR) technology that melds the strengths of resistive and capacitive touchscreen into a single display.
Touchscreen technology is currently divided into two sides. The older resistive touchscreen technology is what most people probably imagine at the mention of a”touchscreen.” You know those “squishy” touchscreens that we’re quick to put on blast? Those are resistive touchscreens. Mobile phones have been using this tech for decades, employing multiple layers of conductive material to detect pressure-based inputs. This touchscreen tech doesn’t make for accurate touch-inputs, but it allows for stylus-based character recognition.
The newer capacitive touchscreen technology was first made popular by the iPhone and its all-glass multi-touch display. There’s no need to press down on the screen to affect an input since capacitive touchscreen displays detects electrical changes caused by a fingertip. This type of touchscreen is much more accurate and responsive than resistive technologies, making for easy and fast touch inputs. Unfortunately, you can’t use a traditional stylus with a capacitive touchscreen.
IFSR, on the other hand, allows for quick and responsive touch inputs, like a capacitive touchscreen, while still supporting pressure-based inputs, like a resistive touchscreen. It works with multi-touch gestures and even detects inanimate objects. Better yet, the IFSR tech is relatively cheap – it costs just $10 for a square foot of the touchscreen panel, even less for smaller applications. And, the tech is expected to start popping up in consumer electronics in 2010.
These videos demonstrate the IFSR tech in action: