News from Synaptics this morning is making all of the mouse vendors scurry away in sadness. Synaptics Gestures Suite 2009 is here and with it comes more productivity-enhancing multi-touch gestures and support for larger PC trackpads. Here’s a run-down of the gestures in the Suite:
- Two-Finger Scrolling: It’s one of the features that I’m so used to on a Mac, that I often do it without thinking on PC, simply out of reflex.
- Two-Finger Rotate: photos or pages in what Synaptics calls the “most common photo and document applications”. They specifically name Windows Photo Gallery and Adobe.
- Two-Finger Pinch Zoom: You pinch, it zooms. ‘k?
- Three-Finger Flick: Flick right for next and left for previous, which is very handy when surfing the web. Flicking up starts or plays, while down stops or ends: might be useful for media, no?
And about that support for larger touchpads: Synaptics says they have a new hardware pattern which supports an area up to 5.8-inches in diameter. Clearly we won’t be seeing them make use of that on a netbook unless we drop the keyboard altogether, but for your 13-inch and up notebooks, you might see a larger sweet spot in 2009.
Synaptics Exhibits Advanced Gestures and Mobile Computing Technology at CES
Combination of New Intuitive Synaptics Gestures and Larger-Sized TouchPads Deliver the Latest Wave of Next-Generation Human Interface Technology
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – January 7, 2009 – Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA), a leading developer of human interface solutions for mobile computing, communications and entertainment devices, is exhibiting new products at the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show. Designed for PC OEMs and ODMs who develop and design industry-leading notebooks ranging from netbooks to large, powerhouse mobile workstations, Synaptics’ new TouchPad™ solutions offer a more dynamic, enriching and productive user experience for consumers and business users. At its booth, Synaptics will be demonstrating a new suite of multi-finger gestures that, when combined with larger TouchPads, provides users with a powerful and intuitive way to be more productive and interactive with their notebook systems. In addition, Synaptics will be showcasing an impressive array of mobile devices from leading cell phone manufacturers featuring Synaptics’ industry-leading ClearPad™ touchscreen-based interface solutions.
“Since introducing its TouchPad in a notebook computer in 1995, Synaptics has continued to expand its capabilities, adding value, intuitiveness, and enhanced end user productivity to notebook designs,” said Mark Vena, vice president of Synaptics’ PC Business Unit. “We believe that the combination of larger TouchPads and our new advanced gestures offer faster, easier, and more meaningful ways for people to interact with their notebook computers.”
The Synaptics Gesture Suite™ 2009 (SGS) was developed from analyzing the most common workflows, from entertainment activities such as viewing photos and listening to music, to productivity activities such as accessing emails and presentations. The result is an intelligent usability model that makes it intuitive for consumers to easily understand and discover features, resulting in a better user experience. SGS represents a growing portfolio of gestures available on Synaptics interface solutions. These new gestures are compatible with hundreds of Microsoft Windows applications and enhance the value and productivity of notebook PCs and peripheral devices that use Synaptics TouchPads. The new gestures in SGS 2009 include:
§ Two-Finger Scroll for easy window scrolling in both horizontal and vertical directions, and work in all applications with the active window scroll control. Surf the Internet faster, review documents easily without leaving the TouchPad.
§ Two-Finger Rotate for quickly rotating photos or pages in the most common photo and document applications such as Windows Photo Gallery and Adobe PDF.
§ Two-Finger Pinch Zoom now enhanced with PointZoom™ for intelligent and contextual zoom control. Synaptics first led with Pinch and Expand to Zoom In/Out; now optimized for Web 2.0 applications. Users surfing the Web can pinch over a site’s text enlarging the font, pinch over a map, and zoom in on the map – all in the same browser window.
§ Three-Finger Flick represents a more intuitive and reliable way to provide application control for rapidly paging through documents, photos, presentations, and other files. A simple use model to flick right for next, flick left for previous, flick up to start or play, and flick down to stop or end while improving ergonomics by reducing keyboard to touchpad fatigue.
In addition, Synaptics’ Large TouchPad technology incorporates a new hardware pattern design that extends previous size limitations, resulting in a larger “active area” of the TouchPad – up to 5.8” diagonal – that may be applied in bigger powerhouse PC notebooks. One of the chief benefits of larger TouchPads is that they tend to provide enhanced usability to users when utilizing the entire portfolio of new and previously announced Synaptics gestures.
Synaptics anticipates that large TouchPads and SGS 2009 will appear in top tier OEM notebook PC models in 2009.