For a while now some manufacturers are looking for a method of independent control of touch screen or keyboard, which helps in navigation tasks, We all know the “trackballs” of BlackBerry or some HTC Terminal, now it seems that the solution is to convert them into a kind of “optical trackpad”, a mini version of what you can find on laptops.
I had the opportunity to discover this system already makes enough time, in the analysis of the Samsung SGH-i780, pioneer in using a similar solution, are now appearing in range BlackBerry, the Curve 8520 first, to later incorporate it into the flagship of RIM, the Bold 9700.
Performance is actually very similar to an optical mouse, with a sensor beneath the surface of the trackpad which records the movements of our finger as mouse do it with our desktop surface.
More in detail, the boys of RIM They explain that the system works as if we put an infrared camera pointing upward, with poor quality, but with ability to capture many images per second, this will take images of our finger and an algorithm will become the same movements on the coordinates x e and screen. This process is necessary to incorporate a CCD sensor that captures images, and an LED that illuminates the area to register.
The system is very efficient and is both liking to press as to whoever is trying it, at the same time It is more economical to build that the aforementioned trackballs, and also they disappear mechanisms that you tend to have a shorter life. He is working on the LED light is not necessary to capture the movements, and thus make the solution even more economic.
It seems that they are not only interested in the solution, because as we could see in the upcoming phones HTC, Some will include a technology similar, and curiously the elect are the two most important models and the HTC Bravo, HTC Legend.
I leave you with a video of our colleague Martin more with the BlackBerry 8520 running: