Microchip Technology have announced a computer peripheral 6” touchpad which it claims is the first able to resolve 2D multi-touch and free-space 3D gestures. To detect gestures up to a distance of 70 mm from the pad surface Microchip have used their MGC3130 single-chip gesture recognition and motion tracking controller released in 2012. It works on the principle of electrical near-field sensing. The 2D touch functionality is handled by a PIC32-based PCAP controller type MTCH63104. It handles 12 Rx and 16 Tx nodes, which are located in the centre, on the top layer of the TouchPad PCB between the 3D GestIC Rx electrodes. Microchip’s MTCH652 line driver is used to provide the necessary Tx drive signal up to 18V. The 2D touch pad allows tracking of up to ten simultaneous contacts. Besides the 2D multi-finger tracking functionality, a variety of surface gestures are implemented. These surface gestures can be used, for example, for two-finger scrolling.
The new 3DTouchPad includes driverless, out-of-the-box features for Windows® 7/8.X and OS X®, 3D air gestures, advanced multi-touch performance including surface gestures, and a free downloadable GUI and SDK/API package tailored for developers. Besides its use as an input device for computers it is anticipated that the TouchPad will have applications in hands-free sanitary products, home automation, remote controls, game controllers, wearable devices and automotive fields.
The 3DTouchPad (part # DM160225, $99.00), is available to order today with free downloadable software.
Click here to view a short video presentation.