World's Thinnest Wireless Touch Surface Revealed at IFA

On Tuesday during IFA 2013 in Berlin, Bluetooth Smart innovator CSR introduced a device it claims as being the world's thinnest wireless touch interface. The flexible device measures just 0.5 mm thin, and combines CSR's low-power wireless technology with the latest in printable, flexible electronics and touch screen sensing. The device can be integrated into a protective cover, extending the touch interface of a tablet or smartphone, and even used to create a large touch zone on a desktop.

"With minimal weight and bulk, a full keyboard experience can be added to a tablet without taking up valuable screen area," the company said. "Thin enough to slip behind the pages of a notebook, it can be used to pick up handwriting and sketches from the nib of a modified pen."

The new super-thin touch device wirelessly connects using CSR's Bluetooth Smart-optimized CSR1010 chip, a new entry in the company's CSR µEnergy range. This chip makes the new touch device compatible with iOS devices, Android 4.x devices, Mac OS X "Mavericks" and Windows 8 PCs using only a fraction of the power used by the standard Bluetooth spec. CSR claims the device even has a latency of 12ms and less, promising near instant visual feedback.

While CSR supplies the Bluetooth portion of the new touch device, Atmel provides the touch silicon that senses multiple touch-based inputs. This silicon is encased in a flexible membrane containing printed conductors supplied by Conductive Inkjet Technology (CIT). This solution is made possible by a reel-to-reel printing process that enables copper and other conductors to be applied to ultra-thin and flexible membranes, the company said.

"Consumers want innovative, portable wireless accessories that just work with their mobile devices," says Paul Williamson, Director of Low Power Wireless at CSR. "The ultra-thin touch surface we've developed is a perfect example of how Bluetooth Smart can give them just that. We're committed to working collaboratively with developers using the CSR µEnergy platform to help them bring similar next-generation accessories to the market quickly."

The company introduced the new super-thin tech during the show as the world's thinnest wireless keyboard. However, CSR said the tech serves as an example for developers who are interested in bringing similar next-generation accessories to market.

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  • qlum
    Looks cool but personally I much rather press a key then have a virtual key on a touch pad. Not having keys is the main drawback of typing on a bigger touch screen anyway.
  • brettms71
    I have been using a surface with the touch keyboard for a few months now, and initially it was hard to use given no feedback to say a button was pressed. But after a few days i got used to it. I think this would be a good addition. Although as long as it offers a good screen protection when it is attached and closed on the tablet.
  • grimtriad
    The touch keyboards on the Surface work because you can leave your fingers on the keys (without getting gibberish). I would be less inclined to use this as (while thinner) I suspect it would be uncomfortable very quickly.

    You can see in their video that they don't leave their hands on the device. That's not a keyboard I would want to use...
  • rwinches
    So it's an opaque touchscreen, got it.