Samsung and Xiaomi to Incorporate 3D Touch-like Technology in Future Devices
3D Touch is the new cool thing in town and everyone wants to have a piece of it. It is indeed true that the touch-sensitive feature has opened up new possibilties in the way your phones works for you. It is also a feature many gaming companies are excited to ‘tap into’. We had earlier reported that Samsung was in talks with Synaptics to bring the 3D Touch feature seen in Apple’s iPhone 6s series into its 2016 flagship Galaxy S7. Samsung plans on calling it ClearForce.
Now, fresh rumours suggest that Samsung is not the only brand looking to incorporate the pressure sensitive feature into its phones. Reports emerging from China tell us that Xiaomi too is interested in having this technology for its future flagship devices. This could be one of the reasons the expected Mi5 announcement has been delayed.
G for Games cited Weibo that said that Xiaomi is working on a 3D Touch-like feature for its upcoming devices. Whether Xiaomi is going solo on this project or is seeking help from Synaptics (as it did with the Mi 4c, which uses Synaptics’ ClearPad S3708 capacitive touch controller) is not yet known. Meanwhile, Synaptic claims that its ClearForce technology will be superior to 3D Touch feature.
ClearForce – What We Know So Far
For those unaware, 3D Touch enables the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus to understand three distinct levels of pressure. This, then, enables new gestures such as Peek and Pop that lets you quickly see inside an app without actually having to open it. Users need to press the screen lightly to get a ‘Peek’ at a photo, email, web page or other content, and if pressed a little deeper, they can ‘Pop’ into the content itself.
ClearForce, on the other hand, is planning to take the feature up a notch. From what we know so far, the ClearForce technology, besides the expected 3D Touch functions, will have the ability to understand the difference between speed scrolling, zoom, gaming, texting and even operate photo editing tools by noting subtle variable pressure on the surface. Some of the new features, according to Synaptics, are as follows:
- Variable speed scrolling
- Picture zoom and panning
- Function preview and selection
- Continuously variable gaming control functions
- Unlock and wake up
- Right-side mouse click behavior (open contextual menus)
- Line thickness control while drawing (e.g., when writing Chinese characters and creating artwork)
- Image editing (brightness, contrast, saturation)
- Upper case and symbol selection (to bypass keyboard mode changes)
The rumoured tie-up between Xiaomi and Synaptics is not yet confirmed and we will have to wait and see for more information on that. Synaptics has also mentioned that it plans to work with other OEMs as well. So we could see brands other than Samsung and Xiaomi making use of ClearForce in the months to come.