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Microsoft demos 1ms response touchscreen

Fast paced action
Tue Mar 13 2012, 14:28

HARDWARE DABBLER Microsoft has demonstrated a touchscreen with a response time of one millisecond.

Microsoft's Applied Science Group managed to create a prototype touchscreen display with a response time of just 1ms, meaning that the lag between the user touching the screen and it registering the input is just one one-thousandth of a second. Most touchscreens have a response time of about 100ms, so the researchers have achieved an two orders of magnitude improvement, which is not something to be sniffed at.

Microsoft initially released information of this development through a video over the weekend. Microsoft's Steve Clayton has brought up an interesting point about how touchscreen lag affects the experience of dragging things across a large screen. Clayton said, "As touch screens gets bigger and you start to drag stuff across an area bigger than your average 4[in] smartphone, the current lag is really going to start to show."

Clayton referred to a claim made by Microsoft researcher Paul Dietz who said that with a 100ms response time, a finger traveling at one metre per second is going to introduce a 10cm gap between the finger and the object on screen. Of course Microsoft isn't in the display business, but the firm has shown through its impressive Surface device that it works hard on developing multi-touch user interfaces using large displays.

Microsoft might be seen as something of a relic in touchscreen operating systems, however its Applied Science division has once again shown that it has some very talented researchers. However it also brings up the question, if Microsoft's researchers can develop such impressive cutting edge technology, why do the company's executives repeatedly fail to use it in products rather than rehashing the same old stuff? µ


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