Synaptics is probably best known for making the touchpads found on laptops. But the company also develops touchscreen technology for notebooks, tablets and smartphones and one of the company’s latest touch controllers offers pressure-sensitive Force Touch capabilities.
The new Synaptics 3700 Series touch controller is currently in mass production, and supports Synaptics ClearForce and SideTouch (edge gesture) technologies.
Basically this means that smartphone and tablet makers can use the 3700 Series touch controller to enable iPhone 6 Plus-style features, since the device would be able to differentiate between light and hard presses.
Edge gestures allow you to trigger actions by tapping the side of a phone. For example, the Xiaomi Mi4c uses edge gestures to let you snap a selfie by tapping the side of the phone or double-tap the side of the phone instead of pressing the back button to return to a previous screen.
Synaptics says its 3700 Series controllers can support passive or active stylus input, including non-touch hovering at distances up to 25mm (about an inch) from the screen.
The company will also launch a new 3600 Series touch controller for lower-cost smartphones soon. That controller supports improvements for detecting your fingers through gloves, improvements for two-finger tracking when there’s moisture on the display, and face detection (allowing the phone to know when it’s being held up to your face without the need for a proximity sensor).