New Multi-Gesture Synaptics Touchpad

Synaptics Touchpad

At this very moment, I am tapping away on my trusty little netbook, hoping to make a few dollars on another article about Computex. One can never have too many articles about cool gadgets, right?

At any rate, before I am finished typing, I will inevitably brush the palm of my hand on the touchpad ever so slightly. It will be a light brush, not a banging or pounding, but it will be enough to move the mouse pointer to an unintended location. Suddenly, pressing PgDn or Backspace will have a completely undesired consequence.

Many software programs offer solutions to deal with those pesky touchpads.  You can disable tapping or even disable the touchpad while typing, which obviously does not work very well. You could plug in a mouse or opt for one of those red ThinkPad finger pointers, but if you otherwise like your touchpad, those are extreme measures.

Synaptics may finally have a solution. This week at Computex, the company responsible for most touchpads your finger has touched, announced a new technology that will go beyond just disabling a touchpad while typing. The new technology will actually sense how many fingers or other body parts are touching it. If a palm hits the touchpad, rather than a single finger, the touchpad will not respond.

It is called PC TouchPad-IS. Granted, it is not the most exciting name. But does a touchpad even need a name?  We just want it to work and work well.  The PC TouchPad-IS allows up to four fingers for input. Just imagine all of the extra gestures you can perform. This technology will effectively bring many of the gestures once common only to smartphones and tablets to netbooks and notebooks. Unfortunately, that will not help my current netbook at all, but peace of mind may be worth the investment in a new one.

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I am a librarian with 8 years of experience in information architecture, technology, free and open source software, and electronic publishing. I have written hundreds of articles on topics ranging from information technology to politics. I also write fiction novels, short stories, and fables.

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