Synaptics Clickpad will bring the buttonless, clickable trackpad (found in the current MacBook line) to PC laptops, complete with their full suite of multitouch gestures.
Just announced at the Computex show in Taiwan, the clicking action of the Clickpad happens by pressing downward on the trackpad, eliminating the need for buttons on the bottom of the pad. Swipes, pinchzooms, rotations and scrolling are all enabled on the ClickPad, providing the same functionality as their previous multitouch trackpads.
Synaptics doesn't mention how a the ClickPad would mimic the two button mouse on Windows-based machines, but all Synaptics drivers, for the ClickPad, and the rest of their trackpad line, will be fully compliant with Windows 7.
The OEM solution will be available in the third quarter of this year (basically now), so you'll probably start to see this popping up in new laptops in late 2009/early 2010.
Synaptics Demonstrates New TouchPad™ Products and Gesture Technology at COMPUTEX
Innovative ClickPad™ Solution Delivers Improved User Experience, Incorporates Clever Three-Finger Press Gesture
Taipei, Taiwan – June 2, 2009 – Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA), a leading developer of human interface solutions for mobile computing, communications, and entertainment devices, is demonstrating new products and technology enhancements at COMPUTEX 2009. Synaptics will unveil its new ClickPad™ solution, an innovative touchpad for consumer and business users that want larger multi-finger gesture enabled TouchPads in smaller notebook designs, particularly netbooks, which have been the fastest growing product segment in the portable computing market over the past year. ClickPad complements the rich minimalist design trend in the notebook space by eliminating the need for traditional physical buttons and enabling the entire ClickPad to act as the button that can be "clicked" to initiate a user action.
All Synaptics ClickPads and Touchpads incorporate the latest gestures previously announced in the Synaptics Gesture Suite™ (SGS) 9.1: two-finger scrolling, two-finger PinchZoom, two-finger pivot rotate, three-finger flick, and three-finger press. For example, users can start-up their PCs using the three-finger press gesture by placing three fingers on a TouchPad and then releasing them to automatically launch from one to six user-selected applications. Synaptics ClickPads are optimized for all laptops and ideal for space constrained netbooks where real estate is at a premium in the palmrest. ClickPad is available with an innovative mechanical assembly that will provide optimized performance for notebook PC designs, ranging from sleek netbooks to large desktop replacement portables.
Synaptics is also announcing that its entire SGS 9.1-enabled TouchPad family is Microsoft Windows 7 ready. This signifies that Synaptics' highly regarded software driver, which offers the best pointing performance and gesture functionality in the PC industry, has passed Microsoft's rigorous Win 7 Logo testing and will be available on time for the release of Windows 7 on leading OEM designs later in the year.
In addition, Synaptics DualMode™ TouchPad is now available to support "under plastic" designs and provides OEMs with excellent consumer appeal and differentiation, enabling OEMs to add custom 0D buttons and 1D scrolling support directly on the TouchPad surface, thereby enhancing TouchPad functionality to enable new features like multimedia controls. Synaptics DualMode TouchPad transforms a traditional Synaptics TouchPad from a navigation device to a launch and control center with the touch of a button. When users tap on the mode switch button in the top right corner of the TouchPad, LEDs illuminate icons on the surface of the TouchPad. Now available under a plastic coating for the most vibrant image, DualMode allows OEMs to customize the feature functionality of the icons to highlight key notebook features.
Since first introducing the revolutionary TouchPad in a notebook computer 14 years ago, Synaptics has continued to enhance its innovative technology to expand its solution portfolio and bring a more engaging, productive, and entertaining user experience to notebook PC designs," said Mark Vena, vice president of Synaptics' PC Business Unit. "With more than 350 million TouchPads shipped since 1995, Synaptics has demonstrated that it knows the notebook PC space like no other technology provider. ClickPad, DualMode and Synaptics' growing gesture portfolio underscore our on-going commitment to providing easier and more meaningful ways for people to interact with their notebooks."
These solutions will available to OEMs for integration into notebook PC platforms beginning in 3Q09. Synaptics will be showing these new products during COMPUTEX at the Grand Hyatt Taipei, Suite #1010, by appointment only. To arrange for a demonstration, contact Niamh Conlon at firstname.lastname@example.org.