Sony Xperia alone: ​​a video tour of the technology operation Floating Touch

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During yesterday became known what will be the fourth terminal of Sony Mobile, to be called Xperia single and will be accompanied by a new technology applied to the tactile sensors on the screen.

This new technology, called Floating Touch , can interact with the device without even touching it, leading the user experience forms of interaction that exceed the finger and reaching gestures. Erick Elmann, a research engineer at Sony Mobile, explains their principles of operation , we bring you that you may understand it better.

How does Floating Touch?

Like many other smart phones, whether Xperia or other brands, multi-touch screen capacitive sensor functions as a detector on an XY grid where the electrodes, which are generated by the contact of a living body such as a finger, generate a voltage is changing the capacity, which is then measured and compared thus identifying the position of the finger.

There are, however, two types of capacitive sensors are used for this type of touch screens, one of type “Self Capacitance” and the other type “Mutual Capacitance “. The latter makes it possible to detect multiple touches at several points, while the former produces a stronger signal that allows more accurate detection of the finger under low pressure or away from the sensors. The disadvantage of the “Self Capacitance” is a very annoying ghosting that can be created for the detection of multiple points.

Mutual Capacitance enables multi touch

The grid on the right in the figure represents the technology “Mutual Capacitance”, where each intersection within each line represents a capacitor in parallel. This means that each intersection is a sensor , which allows the execution multi in that the position of each finger can be measured accurately. However, the area of intersection between two lines is very small, and the electric field sensor is very low , which limits the detection is quite restrictive.

Self Capacitance and ghosting

To the left is the other type of capacitive sensor, where each line X or Y also leads to an intersection and a sensor, but unlike the “Mutual Capacitance” each is independent and has its own ability to recreate the signals high intensity thus making it possible to detect approximately 20 mm above the screen.

The ghosting occurs when the recognition of two contact lines can overlap and create four (in the figure are the intersections X1, X3, Y0, Y2) giving rise to a wrong combination that makes it impossible to multitouch.

Combining the two technologies provides the experience Floating Touch

Combining these two principles can get a new technology that Sony has designated as Floating Touch, where the first sensor is used to accurately detect most of the taps and the second to carry out detection at a distance direct contact .

In this way we lose when we do not touch multitouch sensing display, but instead we get the chance to detect gestures without touching it . Once we played, we have a new multi-type sensor.

Applications Floating Touch

All Android applications and the entire interface could be capable of running this type of technology, although natively on Sony Xperia alone is able to use Touch Floating in the Internet browser enabling a kind of cursor that moves with your finger and able to navigate through links with a little pressure.

With the next updates will come from the hand of Ice Cream Sandwich, developers can integrate this technology through the HTML5 standard or even within their own applications using the API to be released shortly.

For the occasion, we have a video that explains where Sony has released the Floating Touch operation , and where we promise many surprises in the future Xperia range with this new technology:

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