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Synaptics is announcing today that it has created new touchpad improvements that will make life easier for frustrated laptop users.

The company’s newest laptop touchpads include SmartSense chips, which are smart enough to reject accidental palm touches on the pad. The latter problem is a huge pain when you’re typing because, as I have experienced many times, it’s quite easy to accidentally touch the pad, highlight text, and delete it by accident. They new touchpads can also detect up to four fingers touching a pad at the same time, enabling new kinds of gestures. The technology will show up in new, more accurate laptops in the coming months. That’s important, as laptops have to compete against other new gadgets such as smartphones, tablets and other devices.

Some folks may consider touchpads to be old technology. But Synaptics is showing there is still room for improvement. And Synaptics’ user interface expert Andrew Hsu recently posted that there is considerable room for improvement in human-machine interface technology.

At the Computex 2010 trade show this week in Taiwan, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company is showing off its PC TouchPad-IS family of products, which use new image sensor chips, including SmartSense.

Synaptics’ new ClickEQ technology also makes it easier for users to press the touchpad as if they were pressing a button, eliminating the need for the mechanical buttons that are on every touchpad-enabled laptop today.


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