Samsung granted patent for force-sensitive touchscreen display
We recently heard rumors of Samsung working on displays that support stylus input without the need of a dedicated digitizer chip, in order to decrease the production costs of the display on smartphones and tablets. According to a patent granted to Samsung by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the company is looking at yet another way to decrease production costs – building a force-sensing processor right into the display instead of having a separate sensor for detecting applied force on a touchscreen.
This processor would include an electrode resistor and a reference resistor, both of which are connected to several very thin layers of piezoresistive materials, either graphene or carbon nanotube, which have different resistances and are situated inside the display. Once you press your finger against the display, these layers will offer feedback about the duration of the touch input, which in turn will determine whether it was a soft or hard touch (otherwise called a tap or long-press) while negating the need for a separate dedicated sensor.
As always, a granted patent is in no way an indication that the technology will be implemented in devices any time soon, but with Samsung looking at ways to get more and more profit from their products, it wouldn’t be surprising if the Galaxy S5 and other 2014 phones are already using the new force-sensitive touchscreen display.