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Solution adds 'gesture interface' to notebooks

Posted: 21 Jan 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:human interface solutions? PC-based gesture library?

The folks at Synaptics specialize in human interface solutions for mobile computing, communications, and entertainment devices.

Now they have added "Pinch" and "Momentum" gestures on their notebook TouchPad; these gestures are designed to strongly enhance the notebook PC user experience.

Coupled with their October 2007 announcement of ChiralMotion gesture functionality, which provides effortless scrolling capability on TouchPads, Synaptics claim that their expanding PC-based gesture library "redefines how notebooks are used in work, play and entertainment environmentsall in a highly intuitive and industry-standard manner."

Synaptics' new "Pinch" gesture functionality translates multi-finger input (two fingers moving apart or together on a TouchPad) and performs zoom-in and zoom-out capability in a variety of popular applications, including Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, Internet Explorer, Google Earth and others. The "Pinch" gesture recognizes the industry-standard approach where Microsoft XP and Vista detect the zoom-in and zoom-out of a document, image or photo like it would on a scroll wheel of a traditional mouse. Thousands of popular applications support the "Pinch" gesture without special software support beyond Synaptics' TouchPad driver. When users remove their fingers from the TouchPad, it returns to basic TouchPad navigation and control functionality.

By comparison, Synaptics' "Momentum" gesture functionality gives trackball-like functionality to a TouchPad. By flicking a finger across the TouchPad, the cursor coasts across the screen with an inertia-like behavior that mimics a trackball. "Momentum" opens up exciting possibilities for expanded use of games on notebook PCs since many popular games have required the use of external mice or trackballs for optimal game play. Synaptics will be working with PC game developers over the next several months so that games can be optimized to take full advantage of "Momentum" gesture support when a Synaptics TouchPad is detected by the game.

The triumvirate set of ChiralMotion, Pinch and Momentum gestures are the latest in a long line of Synaptics innovations to enhance the use of TouchPads; these innovations include Tap Zones, Virtual Scrolling, PalmCheck, and EdgeMotion.

- Clive Maxfield
Programmable Logic DesignLineI>

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