The technologies Synaptics creates -- human interface solutions -- are sold to OEMs that integrate them into their own products. Today, the company announced a new addition to that portfolio with SmartBar technology, a first of its kind innovation that attempts to make use of the underutilized real estate on the space bar of a typical keyboard.
The range of products Synaptics makes can be loosely summed up as touch sensitive. If you've used a recent smart phone, tablet, or even TouchPad on a laptop, you've likely experienced what they do, and may not even know it.
SmartBar technology adds capacitive touch sensing to the space bar and allows finger-based gestures to be used. Synaptics believes including a touch sensor to the spacebar will enable users to adapt ways to quickly edit text and zoom in. SmartBar can be configured with up to five Programmable Logical Buttons with an included macro suite that allows for programmability of custom functions, letting OEMs or perhaps users come up with their own gesture-based functions.
Editing your documents is made easy with Rapid Editing. Performed with a single swipe of your thumb, this action will highlight the word located in front or behind the cursor, relative to the direction of your swipe.
Zoom also sounds like a nice feature. Desktop PCs have for the most part lacked the ability to pinch-zoom; with a SmartBar installed, the possibility exists. Synaptics calls this Effortless Zooming, and it's done with the use of two thumbs. Pinch and expand are both supported and can be used with text or images alike.
This new technology is available to OEMs today for integration into their own products. Tt Sports is among the first to integrate SmartBars into gaming keyboards. We'll be sure to report on any more that pop up.