Finetech Japan 2012 was held in Tokyo this week, with over 600 exhibitors and 8,000 attendees. Touch panels and touch-related materials were hot topics at the show.
NextWindow (part of SMART Technologies) demonstrated optical imaging touch with 5 point multi-touch capability. NextWindow indicated that most of their systems use 2 CMOS sensors, but to meet the Windows 8 requirement of 5-point multi-touch, they used 6 CMOS sensors for this demo.
Figure: NextWindow demo of 5 point multi-touch all-in-one PC
Source: NextWindow, photo by Jennifer Colegrove
Microsoft has been demonstrating Windows 8 for over a year, and plans to launch it in Q3’12. The requirement for 5-point simultaneous multi-touch has led to the assumption that projected capacitive will be the only technology that can qualify, so the fact that optical imaging offers 5-point multi-touch as well is notable.
NextWindow stated that they are working with over 10 all-in-one PC makers to prepare for Windows 8 certification. For this application, optical imaging is cheaper than projected capacitive, even with 6 CMOS sensors. However, projected capacitive has the advantage of zero-bezel design. Either way, it’s good to have a choice of touch technologies for Windows 8 applications.