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Smartphone Design: Projected Capacitance Fueling Innovation | Cypress Semiconductor

Smartphone Design: Projected Capacitance Fueling Innovation

Last Updated: 
Oct 08, 2013

Author: John Carey

User experience is the most critical feature shaping mobile phones today. When Apple launched the iPhone, they took touch technology to a completely new level. No longer were users required to physically push down on a screen to make an event happen - they could simply touch! Gestures such as pinching, zooming, stretching, panning, swiping, flicking and rotating became possible. The interaction capabilities with a mobile device completely changed. Furthermore, consumers no longer had to live with a bland operating system, something that just made calls and stored contacts - they had Apps!

The mobile phone today is a go-to gadget for taking photos, navigating in unfamiliar areas, listening to music, playing video games, sending emails and texts, and of course, making phone calls. Five years ago, phones were dominated by the need to have a keyboard, be it alphanumeric or full QWERTY. As the capability and usefulness of touching a screen grew, the need for the keyboard diminished. As that precious real estate became available, the size of the display was able to increase. A larger display correlated well to a user interacting with it for advanced functionality like surfing the web, digital photography, personal navigation and gaming. Today, roughly 25 percent of the mobile phone market uses screens larger than 3.9 inches and 70 percent are larger than 3.5 inches. It is expected that the adoption of larger screens will continue, but there is a physical limitation in size that consumers will accept. Today’s largest screens are near 4.3 inches.

There is one critical piece of technology that is at the heart of enabling all of this functionality: Projected capacitive touch!

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