Do RIM’s optical trackpads offer Accessible Alternative to “Skin” Touch?

It seems RIM’s ‘optical pad’ technology could offer hope for the “touch barrier” that exists with the requirement for skin to touch the capacitive type pads that dominate todays gadgets.

2009-12-19_1645.pngThinking about how your phone’s touchscreen operates, you might assume that the so-called optical pads that have been making appearances on recent BlackBerrys (among other devices) operate in a similar fashion — but you’d be wrong. RIM’s official BlackBerry blog is chiming in today to drop some knowledge on us dullards, and it turns out that “optical” isn’t just a cute nickname — the pads do actually operate in much the same way as modern desktop mice, using a low-res infrared camera to capture movement across the surface and translate it into movement. In practical terms, what this means is that you don’t need a conductive surface to operate the pad — you can use pretty much anything that the sensor can see, so a gloved hand (for instance) is theoretically good to go. …

[via: RIM’s optical trackpads: they weren’t joking about the ‘optical’ part originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 18 Dec 2009 13:43:00 EST.]

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