Boréas Technologies unveils NexusTouch, a low-power piezo chip platform
Boréas Technologies has unveiled the NexusTouch sensing and localised haptic platform that will allow designers to expand touch-based user interfaces on the sides of smartphones and gaming phones.
The platform has been designed to enable seamless context-sensitive swipes, taps and clicks – while delivering a rich haptic feedback. Blending advanced gesture sensing with localised haptics, NexusTouch can support a range of new use cases, from finger-clicks that makes a smartphone feel like a DSLR camera to customisable trigger effects that replace mechanical toggles on a premium gaming phone.
NexusTouch also features dynamic virtual button-mapping, which allows manufacturers to replace traditional mechanical power and volume buttons with area-specific system functionality and tactile effects.
“One of the most promising advancements in smartphones is the rise of touch-based gesture interfaces, which let users ‘swipe’ to look around a panoramic scene or tap virtual ‘trigger points’ on the phone to engage in gameplay, all without the use of mechanical switches or buttons,” said James Hayward, principal analyst, IDTechEx. “While adding immeasurably to the phone’s user interface, existing gesture-sensing solutions are still limited by a lack of haptic feedback. Suppliers who can offer both capabilities in a single device will enable manufacturers to achieve greater product differentiation.”
While capacitive touch technology has forced users into mechanical switches and button pushes on the sides of the phone and ultrasonic technology, while providing gesture detection, does not support sensory feedback, the NexusTouch piezoelectric sensor technology supports both manufacturer-customisable gestures, and intuitive, localised haptic effects.
“The race for competitive advantage in smartphones is fierce, and the user interface is a vital part of that competition,” said Simon Chaput, founder and CEO, Boréas Technologies. “While manufacturers have tried replacing traditional buttons and switches with different sensor technologies for gesture detection, they’ve not caught on in the mainstream because all lack the reassuring physical sensations of haptic feedback. Our NexusTouch offers the best of both worlds, opening new real estate for the first time on the sides of the phone to advanced gesture detection with localised haptics.”
NexusTouch is based on Boréas CapDrive Technology, a patented, scalable high-voltage, low-power piezoelectric platform that enables high-definition (HD) haptic effects for a wide range of applications, from wearables and smartphones to automotive infotainment and next-generation safety applications. NexusTouch marks the introduction of gesture detection to the Boréas portfolio of user-interface technologies.