An article in Technology Review reveals development of pressure sensitive touch pads that could be used on future generation devices.
Why is this Lifekludger newsworthy? Because the pads are reported to combine features of both kinds of existing touch pads. To me, this might mean some breaking down of the Touch Barrier and the seeming ubiquitous use of capacitive type touch pads on todays technology.
At very least it could offer options, which is what accessibility is all about.
This small piece I quote below, from the full article, I do so as it offers clues to how capacitive pads work and hence possible alternative materials than a finger for use as an input device.
I might see if I can get in touch [sorry pun] with Ilya or Ken and explore other possibilities.
New York University researchers Ilya Rosenberg and Ken Perlin are developing an interface that goes even further. It’s a thin pad that responds precisely to pressure from not only a finger but a range of objects, such as a foot, a stylus, or a drumstick. And it can sense multiple inputs at once. — Devices like the Palm Pilot, which use a stylus to input data, typically detect touch by measuring changes in electrical resistance when an object taps the screen. But these screens can register only a single touch at a time. Touch screens on smart phones, meanwhile, use a sensor that detects changes in capacitance, or the material’s ability to hold an electric charge; capacitance changes when objects containing water–including fingers–move across the screen. Such screens can sense multiple touches, but they can’t detect pressure.
[Technology Review: A Touch of Ingenuity]