Do RIM’s optical trackpads offer Accessible Alternative to “Skin” Touch?

December 19th, 2009 | by dnw |

It seems RIM’s ‘optical pad’ technology could offer hope for the “touch barrier” that exists with the requirement for skin to touch the capacitive type pads that dominate todays gadgets.

2009-12-19_1645.pngThinking about how your phone’s touchscreen operates, you might assume that the so-called optical pads that have been making appearances on recent BlackBerrys (among other devices) operate in a similar fashion — but you’d be wrong. RIM’s official BlackBerry blog is chiming in today to drop some knowledge on us dullards, and it turns out that “optical” isn’t just a cute nickname — the pads do actually operate in much the same way as modern desktop mice, using a low-res infrared camera to capture movement across the surface and translate it into movement. In practical terms, what this means is that you don’t need a conductive surface to operate the pad — you can use pretty much anything that the sensor can see, so a gloved hand (for instance) is theoretically good to go. …

[via: RIM’s optical trackpads: they weren’t joking about the ‘optical’ part originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 18 Dec 2009 13:43:00 EST.]

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