Touch technology specialists Synaptics are working on a concept for Windows 8 that lets users ‘indirectly’ touch onscreen objects with a special ‘large image sensing’ touchpad called ClickPad.
New Touchpad From Synaptics Lets You ‘Touch’ Onscreen Objects On Your Windows 8 Notebook
Synaptics is working on a new ‘indirect’ touch concept to bridge the gap between using Windows 8 on a tablet and a notebook. Since the new Windows is all about touch, using it on a regular notebook does not allow a person to take full advantage of all the features.
What Synaptics is doing here is representing the whole screen on a large touchpad. So when you are touching a part of the touchpad, you are actually touching a part of the screen and manipulating it. It is called indirect touch because on tablet you would touch the screen directly. Here you are still working on a touchpad. The difference however is that you are not moving a mouse pointer here.
The touchpad here represents the actual screen and your touch is translated to a point being touched on the display. It is simpler to understand when you look at the video on their website — http://www.synaptics.com/solutions/technology/windows8/ConceptVideos
Features Of The Synaptics Image Sensing ClickPad For Windows 8
Most of the gestures that work on Metro would work on the ClickPad (the brand name of the Synaptics touchpad). For example, dragging from the edges would bring about charms, windows and other apps that are open. The aim is to create a fluid way of switching between apps, placing them side-by-side, etc. The video demonstrates all this quite well.
One foreseeable problem is the approximation that happens when you are trying to represent a full sized screen on a touchpad. The system has to understand through the touchpad exactly where you mean to hover and touch in relation to the display. So frequent errors might be a problem. However, Synaptics is one of the leaders in this field and they are very likely to find a solution for this before Windows 8 hits the market. Additionally, these touchpads would compliment the Windows 8 Ultrabooks nicely and make them an even better deal for those who don’t want a Windows 8 tablet.