RIM applies for patent on combination capacitive/resistive touchscreen

RIM applies for patent on combination capacitive/resistive touchscreen
A touchscreen is a touchscreen, right? Nope. Many users of the finger friendly devices are not aware that there are two major styles of touch displays, capacitive and resistive. The screen on the iPhone and the BlackBerry Storm is capacitive. These screens work with your finger, but can not work with a stylus or with a gloved hand. The ability of the human body to conduct electricity allows for the changes in current needed to make the objects on the display move. Capacitive displays are faster than resistive ones, but are much more expensive and less precise. They allow for the use of multi-touch and other gestures. Those with long nails will find these screens almost impossible to use. Resistive screens, like the one on the LG Dare or the HTC Touch Diamond, allow for the use of a stylus for precision data entry. These screens work by pressing two layers of the screen together to cause a change in current and can work with any object that can press down on a display such as a finger or a pen cap. With the big difference in cost, most of the middle to low end touch screen devices are fitted with this type of screen.

RIM has just filed a patent application for a display that combines the best of both worlds. These screens will have the smooth, fast touch like a capacitive model with support for multi-touch and gestures, and the resistive model's ability to make precision data entry with the use of a stylus as well as allowing for those with long nails and covered hands to move objects on the screen. The one thing that the combination screen doesn't fix is cost. The hybrid display will remain expensive which limits its use to high end touchscreen models. One cellphone manufacturer has already brought something new to the market. Samsung's Jet feature phone (smarter than your average bear, uh, smartphone) uses a technology called R-Resistive which is supposed to combine the best of capacitive and resistive screens.

It is not known how far along RIM is in terms of actually employing this hybrid technology. It could be something that will debut on the BlackBerry Storm 2 or it might just have to wait for another high end RIM model.

source: UnwiredView



1. Mr_LaZy

Posts: 21; Member since: Jun 30, 2008

Sorry RIM, but I'm pretty sure China has made one of their MP4 players with this technology. It was a fail tech, but if that company (called Chuwi I think?) made a patent for this already, be prepared for a lawsuit ;x Though I would be happy if RIM could and most likely would pull off a much better screen.

3. drewsky

Posts: 147; Member since: Jan 04, 2009

Why is china always ahead of us?...LOL I like the technology though.

2. VSS_55

Posts: 43; Member since: Jul 05, 2009

CHINA suing someone for patent infringement?!? that'll be the day... Im sure its diffrent enough from there system that it dosent matter. there have been a couple instances of similar designs, but none so far have caught on.

4. tuminatr

Posts: 1141; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

bb probably bought the Chinese company

5. MTLance unregistered

lol, true, I mean that company worth way less than American or European companies. Anyway I find that sometimes I just hate my iPhone 3GS without the stylus use, especially web pages because capacitive means you can press anywhere.

6. comnut1

Posts: 1; Member since: Aug 08, 2009

:) on a technical note, it is not 'conductance of skin' that makes the screens work(if it was, a *special* stylus could be made for it!!), it is the 'large saline container' effect, that increases the local capacitance to make it work.... - If you have an *old* AM/FM radio(tuned to a weak station) with a big metal aerial, you will see the signal change when you touch this.. :) You say the Samsung's Jet feature phone has R-Resistive which is supposed to combine the best of capacitive and resistive screens - would you know if the others (omniaHD, etc..) have similar??

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