Synaptics Sensa tablet prototype could enable thinner tablet bezels with thumb-rejection

Today screen bezels are kind of necessary for tablets. While some folks like the idea of an edge-to-edge touch-sensitive screen, the truth is that if the touch surface stretched all the way across a tablet, there’d be no way to hold a device without accidentally tapping or swiping when you just wanted to grip the device.

But Synaptics is demonstrating a technology that could allow tables with thinner bezels, or possibly even no bezels at all.

Sensa tablet

The Synaptics Sensa tablet prototype has sensors on the back of the tablet that can detect the location of your hands. That way when you put your thumb on the screen, the tablet can figure out if you’re actually trying to tap on something or if you’re just holding onto the tablet to keep it from falling to the floor.

From there, it becomes possible to develop software that can either create a dead zone which doesn’t register clicks at all around your thumb, or apps that detect your thumb and adjust text and graphics to scroll around your thumb.

For instance, if you’re reading an eBook, the whole page could move a little to the right to avoid your thumb on the left side of the screen, or the text could just scroll around the area where your thumb is so that your hand isn’t blocking the page.

The Verge got a hands-on (and thumbs-on) look at the prototype.

It’s not clear if or when we’ll see real products using this technology.

  • ddevine

    Having text re-flow around your fingers would be awesome.

  • Norton Peabody

    Brilliant idea to solve the problem of inadvertent clicking. Adding sensors and more software to use more cpu cycles and battery to make a device more aesthetically pleasing and gain a relatively insignificant increase increase in screen size….Or they could just add a bezel….