We've got a number of tools in our armoury [Not weapons? Ed.] - Hazel Lewis - UK government minister
BERLIN: CHIP DESIGNER CSR has unveiled what it claims is "the world's thinnest" wireless touch surface, shown off as a keyboard at the IFA electronic trade show in Berlin on Wednesday.
CSR said that the technology has "revolutionary potential" for computing interfaces. It combines CSR's low-power wireless technology with printable, flexible electronics and touchscreen sensing to extend the touch interface of tablets and smartphones.
"[The wireless surface] can do basic text input, it can also do touch and gesture control so you can swipe and pinch and zoom and use more complex gestures," said CSR Bluetooth smart division director Paul Williamson.
"It can also be used with a stylus pen for handwriting recognition or for drawing or sketching. Its inkjet printed and can therefore be rapidly created in multiple different formats which can be adapted to fit the multiple different shapes and sizes of tablets and smartphones that are available today."
The surface is less than 0.5mm thick and is wirelessly connected using the CSR 1010 chip. It will work in iOS 7 and Windows 8 devices using a "fraction of the power of standard Bluetooth" for better battery efficiency.
"Touch latency is also minimised to less than 12ms, ensuring near instant video feedback and enabling a seamless user experience," CSR added.
CSR partnered with microcontroller Atmel and Conductive Inkjet Technology (CIT) to develop the technology. The device uses Atmel's touch silicon to sense multiple contact points on a surface, and can offer a full touch surface or power optimised key detection.
The surface's flexible membrane is enabled by CIT printed conductors. The firm's reel-to-reel printing process also enables copper and other conductors to be applied to the surface of the ultra-thin and flexible membrane, and can be printed to fit a range of tablet shapes and sizes.
Check back later for a hands-on review of the CSR keyboard, once we've tracked it down at IFA. µ
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