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New Touchscreen Technology Like Writing On Paper 123

An anonymous reader writes "A company claims it has the technology to make writing on touchscreens more like writing with pencil and paper, when the harder you press the thicker the line you produce. The technology uses a material called Quantum Tunneling Composite (QTC), the resistance of which is extremely sensitive to pressure, unlike today's touchscreen phones, which might be fine for basic finger-pointing, but they are poor at gauging the pressure of the touch. The hope is that this will be useful in Asia for handwriting recognition, because Asian scripts use a lot of variation in line thickness. Interestingly, screens with a standard 2D touch matrix can get the extra measure of control using a narrow strip of QTC down the side."
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New Touchscreen Technology Like Writing On Paper

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 29, 2010 @05:34PM (#30955442)

    I seem to remember Wacom tablets having this kind of feature for a long long time... granted, the texture wasn't paper-like, but you could replace the 'nibs' or the ends to change the drag-feel of the stylus on the tablet. Best of all, no batteries for any of the devices - the tablet drove them with power provided as long as they were within a quarter of an inch of the surface. How is this revolutionary?

  • by mikael_j ( 106439 ) on Friday January 29, 2010 @05:40PM (#30955538)

    The main selling point of Wacom tablets is exactly this, the reason they can so much for the Cintiq is because it's about as close to drawing on real paper/canvas as you can get with a computer. And as you stated, you can replace the nibs to get a different feel.

    IMO (as someone who's used Wacom tablets for ages and prefers them to regular mice) the only real downside to Wacom tablets is that they take up a bit of space and are expensive but once you get used to using the stylus or the tablet mice (up with those is "up" on the tablet, not "forward" on the mouse) you'll have serious issues with regular mice.


  • by Brandee07 ( 964634 ) on Friday January 29, 2010 @05:41PM (#30955558)


    You can get 1024 levels of pressure sensitivity for $99. The next product line up offers MORE pressure sensitivity and can detect pen tilt as well.

    So, yeah, I'm not seeing the innovation here.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 29, 2010 @05:53PM (#30955712)
    The Wacom tablet is not a display device, just an input device. Having a similar level of pressure sensitivity as a Wacom tablet but on the actual display device would be a huge improvement.
  • by Zocalo ( 252965 ) on Friday January 29, 2010 @06:08PM (#30955894) Homepage
    There seems to be a little confusion over Wacom's product ranges here, but the device most people are probably thinking of is the Cintiq [wacom.eu], not one of their more conventional tablets like the Intuos range. They do everything this new screen does and more, as they support all of the pressure and tilt detection routines of the tablets, so the only things that might be novel about this new screen is nature of the QTC technology being used or the cost of its production. Hopefully, the latter; the Cintiqs are a dream to use for retouching, painting or other freehand work, but frighteningly expensive!
  • Re:Or (Score:4, Informative)

    by Bragador ( 1036480 ) on Friday January 29, 2010 @07:01PM (#30956674)

    All right. Fair comment. A phonetic system is definitely much quicker and brings a higher level of literacy sooner than an ideogrammatic system.

    However, the Chinese speak three mutually unintelligible languages--Cantonese, Mandarin, and Manchu--but they all use the same characters. In addition, there are numerous minority languages in China that have adopted the characters. Enabling everyone to be able to communicate with each other through the written language is no small feat.

    With a phonetic system, they would have a lot of difficulties communicating between themselves. Maybe once mandarin is used unequivocally by all of their people, they'll be able to adopt hanyu pinyin.

    For now, they are a challenge to learn and a beauty to behold.

  • Re:Or (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 29, 2010 @11:41PM (#30959114)

    The so-called "ideogrammatic scripts" (not really true of Chinese) can express phrases that would be difficult/impossible to understand when spoken, because characters are less ambiguous than homophones, which Chinese has a lot of. That doesn't seem "unambiguously false".

    An extreme example is the Chinese poem (Lion-Eating Poet in the Stone Den) that starts out "shi2 shi4 shi1 shi4 shi1 shi4 shi4 shi1" and continues in a similar manner. It's impossible to speak but quite possible to read.

  • Re:Or (Score:3, Informative)

    by jhol13 ( 1087781 ) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @01:33AM (#30959694)

    Citation needed (to the studies).

    They definitely are not slower to read and I doubt the "write" part too. People do not read letters, they read patterns.

    "Longer to learn" claim is interesting as it would seem to mean "harder to learn" and lower literacy rate, right? This is very untrue for Japanese.

    BTW, the information in text on how to pronounce english is far from being sufficient to be understood. Otherwise there would not be pronunciations in dictionaries.

  • Re:Or (Score:2, Informative)

    by ipsi ( 1181557 ) on Saturday January 30, 2010 @07:01AM (#30961030)

    Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lion-Eating_Poet_in_the_Stone_Den [wikipedia.org]

    The text isn't actually displayed on the page since it's apparently still under copyright, so if you really want to see it you'll need to check the history.

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