Nikon adds a touchscreen for the first time
Every year, CES acts as a launching ground for a range of new products, and this year is no different. Nikon decided to use the event as an opportunity to officially unveil its new D5500 DSLR, which acts as an evolution of the existing D5300. While the newly-announced D5500 advances upon its predecessor in a number of ways, the most significant change is the introduction of a touchscreen. While the show floor isn't really an optimal ground for testing a new camera, we managed to get our hands on the new Nikon, and spent a little time checking out just what this new product has to offer.
Pinch to zoom, swiping navigation added to beta Firefox version
Mozilla has released a beta version of its Firefox browser, for use with touch-enabled Windows 8 systems. Teased by the company in early 2012, Firefox for Windows 8 Touch Beta is said in a company blog post to be optimized for the operating system's Metro user interface style, with the main focus of the release being its usefulness for owners of touchscreen computers, notebooks, and tablets.
Moshi releases flip cover case for iPhone 5s and 5c, features embedded touch sensors
Mobile accessory maker Moshi unveiled earlier this week its flip cover case for iPhone 5s and 5c, the SenseCover. Allowing users to swipe to answer phone calls or silence alarms without exposing the iPhone's touchscreen, Moshi's touch-sensitive plates within the front cover offers a design similar to what is seen from Samsung's S-View flip cover for Galaxy handsets. Its cutout near the top lets the caller identification information still remain visible. When access to the touchscreen is desired, the cover can be folded back and kept open by its rear-mounted magnetic clasp.
Ten-point multitouch, gesture control in budget monitor
Acer has launched a new budget-friendly, 19.5-inch, Windows 8-compliant touchscreen display in the United States. Sharing a similar appearance and construction to the Aspire Z3-600 all-in-one desktop computer the manufacturer launched earlier this month, the FT200HQL has a resolution of 1,600x900 and features 10-point capacitive touch with gesture recognition.
Even older iPhone 4 outpaces competitors in touch speed tests
A pair of new studies that tests touchscreen responsiveness among flagship tablets and top-selling smartphones has found that Apple's iPad and iPhone lead the field by a significant margin in both categories. The TouchMarks tests -- done by mobile ad firm Agawi -- pitted the iPad against leading brands of Android, Kindle and Windows RT offerings in tablets, and the iPhone against leading Android and Windows 8 phones. The current iPads and iPhone 5 (and even the iPhone 4) won against all competitors.
GPS issues remain
Google has released a software update for its second-generation Nexus 7 tablet, responding to customer complaints over touchscreen issues. The Android 4.3 build, referred to as JSS15Q, appears to be limited to the touchscreen fix, rather than bringing additional features or addressing separate issues that have been reported with GPS functionality.
High-resolution 4K monitor includes 10-point multitouch, stylus control
Sharp is introducing a new LCD touchscreen monitor with the ability to show 4K-resolution images, following on from its earlier non-touch version. The PN-K322B Ultra HD monitor has an IGZO display panel measuring 32 inches, and is mounted on an adjustable hinge, allowing its 10-point multitouch to be used, as well as its dedicated touch pen with a tip width of just 2mm (0.08 inches).
Research firm sees 51.8-percent rise in touchscreen-enabled notebook shipments
Almost one in ten notebook computers shipped in the first quarter of 2013 have touchscreens, according to a market research firm's report. It is claimed by Displaybank that 4.57 million of the notebooks used the displays out of a total shipment figure of 46 million, a rise of 51.8 percent compared to the previous quarter.
Notebook screen can face away from user, be used as tablet
Acer has revealed a new notebook with a floating touchscreen, one that it previously teased alongside Star Trek footage. The Aspire R7 holds its 15.6-inch 1080p multitouch display on an "Ezel" hinge, allowing it to be viewed in the normal notebook way, lying flat on a table, flipped to face away from the user, and also closed with the display facing out and making it resemble a tablet.
Available for both screen sizes, uses analog resistive overlay
Custom touchscreen manufacturer and licensed Apple service provider Troll Touch has unveiled custom-made touchscreen solutions for the latest model of iMac -- both the 21.5- and 27-inch sizes. The company offers both internal, factory-installed touchscreens and user-installable analog resistive overlay units, paired with a 12-bit USB controller and custom cabling. As a service provider, Troll Touch can also do in-warranty repairs on iMacs with the factory-installed touchscreen without violating the warranty.
Hotspot has touch-screen display, ten-device limit
AT&T will be offering a second mobile hotspot with touchscreen capabilities to customers later this week. The AT&T Unite by Sierra Wireless will allow users the ability to create a ten-device Wi-Fi hotspot that uses the carrier's 4G LTE phone network, with the further option of allowing the creation of a guest network for one-time users.
Specifications of Touch similar to Zenbook Prime
Asus has updated its website to include details of an unannounced notebook, though not accompanied with the usual marketing fanfare. The 15-inch U500VZ Zenbook Touch is listed in the online product catalog with specifications that seem relatively similar to that of recent Zenbook Prime iterations, but includes a touchscreen.
LED screen measures 20-inches, supports stylus input
Shortly after its announcement to sell a 4K IGZO monitor in February, Sharp is also preparing to release a 20-inch touchscreen display in Japan. The LL-S201A, branded "Big Pad" by the manufacturer, supports up to ten points of multi-touch input, as well as a stylus with a 2mm tip for more precise work.
First ten SmartScreens offer Wi-Fi access, local information
The rollout by City24/7 of 32-inch touch-screen information kiosks in New York City has begun, offering details on local destinations, news, as well as emergency and government-related alerts. So far, ten payphone sites have been refitted with the SmartScreen displays, with this initial trial set to convert a total of 250 kiosks in the five-borough area over the next few months.
Bigger ultrabook to gain optical drive
Sony has introduced one new notebook, and intends to offer a touchscreen version of another. The Vaio T14 is a 14-inch version of its existing T13 line and retains the physical style and specifications of its predecessor, while the Vaio T13's optional touchscreen is a $100 upgrade that also adds edge-to-edge glass to the display.
Envy 23 and Envy 20 add multitouch
HP has announced four new consumer-level all-in-one PCs to supplement its Windows 8 lineup, with two of them including multitouch technology. The touchscreen models, the HP Envy 23 TouchSmart and Envy 20 TouchSmart, offer 10-point multitouch technology. For the budget-conscious, the HP Pavilion 20 brings many of the improvements of the Envy to the Pavilion lineup.
Technology similar to optical mice adapted for use in gloves
Google has been granted a patent from the USPTO for glove-based gesture control. Patent number 8,248,364, entitled "Seeing With Your Hand", uses a hand-mounted sensor that records the environment through a detector and can work out what motion occurred. In theory, this would allow for gesture controls on surfaces that do not have a touchscreen.
Company to require five-finger digitizers
Microsoft has shed light on the touchscreen gesture technology that will be implemented in Windows 8, including the hardware requirements that will be necessary for a consistent experience across multiple devices. The company notes that Windows 8 will run on the hardware currently on the market, however upcoming touchscreen PCs built specifically for Windows 8 will be required to integrate five-finger digitizers.
Tablet has revolutionized kiosk industry
Following the introduction of Lilipad's kiosk display cases, two more companies have joined the fray of making commercial-quality stands and cases for the iPad and iPad 2 to be used as touchscreen kiosks. Kiosk Group are offering a collection that focus on complying with the latest Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, while Griffin has come out with its own line that offer different amounts of access to the front-panel controls.
New designs mimic Kinect
Intel has previewed the capabilities of Windows 8-based ultrabooks, some of which take advantage of touchscreen technology and voice recognition. The chip maker suggests more than 75 ultrabook designs will arrive on the market this year, as the company's third-generation Core-series processors become available this spring.
Panels destined for vehicle nav systems
SMK Corp has unveiled a new touchscreen panel that is claimed to work with gloved hands. Although several companies currently produce conductive gloves that work with touchscreens, SMK's panel does not require users to wear special gloves. The technology is said to utilize a high-sensitivity detection chip and an improved sensor panel structure, enabling the display to register input even when fabric separates fingertips from the panel itself.
Could prove further hindrance to rivals
Apple has finally been awarded a patent for a system of integrating a touch-screen panel directly into an IPS (in-plane switching) display, as found on the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S -- which it first applied for in 2007, shortly after the announcement of the first iPhone. The method is considered to be both superior and more cost-effective in comparison to the usual method of overlaying a touch-screen layer or panel on top of a display panel.
Transflective LCDs much more visible outdoors
3M's New Ventures organization has invested in Pixel Qi Corp., a developer of next generation LCD panels. Pixel Qi's unique screens can generate either e-paper output or high-intensity images for much better outdoor visibility than other contemporary LCDs. Mary Lou Jepsen, co-founder and CEO of Pixel Qi, said the funding would accelerate the company's product into the mass consumer market. She also said the company would continue to pursue mobile device manufacturers and digital signage applications.
Bracketon, GreenBulb, Primary Case, Ten One Design
Though Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously said, "if you see a stylus, they blew it" referring to tablets, there are occasions and certain types of software that benefit from stylus use, particularly handwriting, photo-editing and drawing apps. As users continue to find specific uses for styluses on iOS products (and particularly competitor touchscreen devices), a small but significant market has sprung up to meet demand. Four of the latest styluses to hit the market are highlighted below.
Includes webcam, supports 10.5 and 10.6
Mino Monitors has unveiled a new iMo eye9 mini-monitor, capable of extending the screen "real estate" of PCs and Macs via USB with both touchscreen capability and an included webcam. It can be used in a variety of ways, from digital picture frame to touch-based second window, where for example palettes or controls where touch could be used could be "stored" off the main screen.
Users can see, command iOS devices in-vehicle
RealVNC, the original developers of VNC technology, have added iOS 4's "iPod Out" display functionality to their own VNC Mobile Solution for Automotive, which allows a single common head-unit HMI design to detect and control virtually any mobile device through a touchscreen -- and opens up the possibility of future abilities to control home or work computers through that same in-built car touchscreen.
Factory-installed or user-installed options
Troll Touch -- a firm specializing in custom touchscreens for Apple products for over 20 years -- have now added two new product options for the Apple 27-inch Cinema Display, both incorporating an analog-resistive overlap and high-resolution USB controller. Buyers can choose either an internally integrated touchscreen that replaces the sheet glass, or a user-installed removable "SlipCover" style that can be installed or removed in minutes. Both are Mac and Windows compatible.
Simtek sending sample displays to Cupertino
A new report has surfaced claiming that Sintek Photronic, a well-known supplier of large touchscreen panels, has sent samples to Cupertino for testing. It's purported that the panels are destined for pre-production versions of a forthcoming touchscreen-based iMac. The latest news adds weight to the once-idle rumors circulating in recent months that Apple plans on adding a third iMac model to its current range of 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac offerings.
Smartphone listed on Amazon for $480
Nokia has begun shipping its N97 Mini smartphone in the US market. The device, which first launched in Europe for the equivalent of approximately $664 USD, is now available through Amazon for $480. The handset integrates a 3.2-inch touchscreen, slightly smaller than the 3.5-inch LCD of the standard N97. The slide-out QWERTY keyboard has also been reduced in size, although the Mini retains all of the basic functionality of its larger counterpart.
Monitor offers same tech as many all-in-ones
Dell has introduced its first touchscreen monitor, the SX2210T. The device offers the same basic specs as the company's SX2210 product, with a 21.5-inch panel and 1920x1080 resolution, but adds support for touch control. The optical touch technology can be used with a finger or stylus, with +/- 2.5mm accuracy across most of the screen area.
The Bliss UX700, LG's affordable touchscreen phone
LG on Thursday introduced its latest messaging device, the Bliss UX700. The entry-level device features a 2.0-megapixel camera with video capture, stereo Bluetooth connectivity, and a 3-inch touchscreen with 240x400 pixel resolution. Users can listen to music or access the web through the full HTML browser, while microSD support allows storage expansion up to 16GB.
Lexmark all in one inkjets
Lexmark on Tuesday introduced eight new all-in-one inkjet printers geared for small- to medium-size business. The Platinum Pro905 features a 4.3-inch touchscreen and a customizable interface for quicker access to frequent tasks. Users can also view web content from the display, such as news, weather, or photo sharing sites.
Large RoadMate GPS
Product pages for an unannounced Magellan GPS, the RoadMate 1700, have leaked on several online retailers such as Tiger GPS. The 1700 matches many of the same features as the rest of the RoadMate series, but adds a larger 7-inch display. Otherwise, the GPS offers a AAA TourBook, 6 million points of interest, text-to-speech and multiple-point routing.
Mimo 720S touchscreen
Mimo Monitors on Monday introduced the 720-S, a 7-inch portable touchscreen display geared for netbook users. The monitor provides 800x480 resolution, 350 cd/m˛ brightness and a contrast ratio of 400:1, while utilizing resistive touchscreen technology. The device is powered and connected via a single USB cable, enabling use as a secondary screen for presenting applications, formatting palettes, instant messengers or other interfaces.
California developer Troll Touch has announced the availability of its internally integrated touchscreen system for Apple’s recently released 24-inch LED Cinema display. Already available for Apple's 20- and 30-inch Cinema displays, the product joins the company’s lineup of high-resolution, analog resistive touchscreen systems which support user input via fingertip, gloved hand or stylus. Powered via an internal USB connection, Troll Touch says that its custom touchscreen overlay design and innovative component integration technique does not alter the machine’s form factor in any way. To the casual observer, the system does not appear to have been modified.
Nikon S560, S60, S610/c
Nikon on Friday unveiled several new consumer-level cameras, including the touch-aware Coolpix S60, feature-packed S560, the intuitive S610, and wireless S610c, all coming in September. The Coolpix S60 offers users a touchscreen LCD, with simplified access to all the cameras functions and capabilities. The camera has a 5x optical zoom NIKKOR lens, with a 10-Megapixel sensor, capable of using ISO 3200 sensitivity. It also features Nikon's EXPEED and Optical VR technologies, and the Scene Auto Selector mode. Nikon is selling the S60 for $350.
SlipCOVER for iMacs
Troll Touch on Wednesday announced an extension to its well respected SlipCOVER range, adding support for 20- and 24-inch 'aluminum' iMac computers. The SlipCOVER consists of a touch-sensitive overlay that replaces the iMac's display glass, connecting via a custom designed USB cable. Providing a high resolution, analogue resistive touchscreen that supports fingertip, stylus and gloved hand user input, the SlipCOVER provides an alternative to conventional user interaction methods.
Bell LG Vantage slider
Bell Canada is now shipping the LG Vantage – also known as LG Glimmer on the US carrier Alltel – offering Canadians their first glimpse of the touchscreen slider phone. The phone will feature EVDO connectivity and dual-band GSM, and sports a 2MP camera, Bluetooth, and a microSD card slot. The Vantage joins Bell’s list of devices as competition to the LG Shine, which is currently in service with both Telus and Rogers Wireless.
Philips touch screen phone
Philips is preparing to launch two high-end touchscreen phones - the X800 and Xenium X-Connect - which feature large color screens and several luxury features. The X800 offers users a tri-band GSM/GPRS platform, which uses a 2.9 inch touch screen to display information, with a screen resolution of 240 by 400 pixels. It also features handwriting recognition, a 2MP autofocus camera, a MicroSD slot, Bluetooth, and an office document reader. Battery life for the unit sits at 850 hours standby, and 8 hours of talk time.
Apple engineer hunt
Two new job openings at Apple may point to technological trends at the company. Recruiters are firstly searching for a senior module process engineer, who would be hired full-time in Apple's home city of Cupertino. There they would be responsible for leading engineering efforts on multi-touch displays, from conceptualization to product formation. Candidates are expected to have a PhD in Physics or Mechanical Engineering and three years of experience, or an MS degree with five years of experience.
Nenodoe N2 new colors
Sweden-based Neonode announced on Tuesday it will add four vibrant new colors to its N2 cellular phone. Originally offered only in black, Neonode's web store now offers the quad-band GSM phone in Lime (green), Azure (blue), Rubine (red) and Roza (pink). The phone features an optical 2-inch touchscreen with a programmed Neno user interface that uses various finger sweeps across the screen as shortcuts. It is not yet available in the US, but Neonode mentions the new colors are meant to help the company bring the phone to new markets as it attempts to boost sales.
New touchscreen technology
Wacom today unveiled a new touch-screen technology, dubbed Reversing Ramped Field Capacitive touch – or RRFC – which uses low-power circuitry and reversing ramped electro-static fields to offer precise performance. The technology supposedly prevents cursor drifting, and can be used as a touch display or as a simple touch surface. Wacom states that the surface used for the technology is tougher than glass, allowing for increased durability, while also being able to recognize softer touches.
LG Vu images
The LG Vu, announced yesterday at CTIA, features a full touchscreen that is capable of displaying mobile TV through AT&T's Mobile TV plan. It also delivers 3G access with up to 1.4Mbps real-world download speeds on AT&T's HSPA network. The Vu sports a 2-megapixel camera with autofocus and relies on microSD alone for storage. LG hasn't announced AT&T's pricing, but it said the phone should ship in May, just ahead of the one-year anniversary of its in-house rival, the iPhone. Included below are several shots of the LG Vu from the CTIA 2008 conference in Las Vegas.
Dell defends Latitude XT
Dell has taken the unusual step of defending the cost of its new Latitude XT tablet. In a post to Dell's official PR blog, the senior manager for the Commercial Products Team, Glenn Keels, says that the $2,500-plus pricetag for the computer may be extremely high next to similar systems from competitors, but that it is worth it for certain feature enhancements, as well as Dell's three-year warranty.