More info revealed on Synaptics Windows 8 touch pad

Way back in November, Synaptics announced plans to launch a new PC notebook touch pad that would support multi-touch features. At the time, the company showed off how the touch pad would work with the Developer Preview version of Windows 8 and its UI, then known as "Metro".

Today, News.com and other media outlets got a chance to get some hands-on time with the touch pad technology, which Synaptics now calls the ForcePad. The biggest difference is the lack of physical click keys; the ForcePad is made with just one thin pad. The ForcePad is also pressure sensitive, with the company claiming that it allows PC notebook users to use up to five fingers at one time; they can press down on the new pad with 64 different levels of pressure.

Obviously, this kind of PC touch pad will allow notebooks without a touch screen to still take advantage of Windows 8 and its newly branded "Modern" user interface. A stand alone ForcePad could also be made that will allow PC desktop users to interact with the Windows 8 UI without having to touch a monitor.

The bad news? Synaptics says their ForcePad technology won't be ready until sometime in 2013, which means that notebooks won't have this hardware when Windows 8 launches in late October.

Source: News.com

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i bought a logitech touchpad thingy to use with my desktop and windows 8 last year. the only issue is that this doesn't support the windows gestures. it sort of works, but the whole idea is flawed and logitech appear to have forgotten they made the thing. Support is non-existent and i've been left with a device that completely fails to work correctly. I can't seem to find any mention of anyone else creating one of these, which seems like a logical step for desktop users using MUI. Does anyone know of a similar device to the touchpad? (for ref, this is the logitech device: http://www.google.co.uk/produc...PioHACg&ved=0CFsQ8wIwAA)

One of the biggest downfalls of Windows laptops has been the trackpad. Multi-touch gestures have become essential to a great computing experience with a laptop and is what really makes a Macbook excel. Hopefully this will be implemented well.

boydp182 said,
One of the biggest downfalls of Windows laptops has been the trackpad. Multi-touch gestures have become essential to a great computing experience with a laptop and is what really makes a Macbook excel. Hopefully this will be implemented well.

Apple did this in 2008. And now, 2013... finally it will become mainstream on PC laptops? Embarrassing world we live in. But I guess they can't copy things too quickly, or it would be embarrassing as well...

sometime in 2013, a year and a half or more after Windows 8 is announced. This is why Microsoft is going their own way.

You just can't count on OEMs to get their **** together

Looks like current users get the Synaptics Gesture suite which gives us all the Windows 8 gestures. No idea about launch date though, I'd assume GA though.

Looks like current users get the Synaptics Gesture suite which gives us all the Windows 8 gestures. No idea about launch date though, I'd assume GA though.

Just to be clear, which this article is not, the ClickPad gestures in the video will be available at launch while the ForcePad hardware won't be available on laptops until 2013.

ClickPad gestures and ForcePad have nothing to do with one another. Bad reporting Neowin.

It's a neat idea but I don't see it having that much real world use. The gesture based approach seen in Apple trackpads works great because you won't accidentally do stuff unlike here where the demonstrator seems to be working like a safecracker to not hit the wrong spot.

Personally I'm not a huge fan of the touch only clicking either, I like to have some feel to it.

Honestly I would be happy if they just managed to get programmable gestures working well in Windows. I've yet to try a single trackpad (even Apple's own) that does this as well as Apple's does in OSX.

The hardware in most touchpads already support the functionality...

The difference? Synaptics is trying to shove out a better price point and gain new sales for something they are already selling, by providing the correct 'touch' quality drivers for Windows 8.


Synaptics is basically just ripping OEMs and consumers off...

I think the best time to buy a new PC with Windows 8 is when SP1 is released. Since anything coming this October with Windows 8 will be first gen.

So...
1. Current Synaptics Touchpad users won't get Windows 8 gestures?
2. From the video, it looks like the whole touchpad is emulating a touch-screen. So would we get a cursor at all? It'd be useless for anything accurate, at least you know where you're clicking. This looks like you have to guess the right place.

So...
1. Current Synaptics Touchpad users won't get Windows 8 gestures?
2. From the video, it looks like the whole touchpad is emulating a touch-screen. So would we get a cursor at all? It'd be useless for anything accurate, at least you know where you're clicking. This looks like you have to guess the right place.

Possession said,
So...
1. Current Synaptics Touchpad users won't get Windows 8 gestures?
2. From the video, it looks like the whole touchpad is emulating a touch-screen. So would we get a cursor at all? It'd be useless for anything accurate, at least you know where you're clicking. This looks like you have to guess the right place.

No Neowin got the story completely wrong. ClickPad gestures will be available at Win8 launch, ForcePad pressure sensitive hardware won't be out until 2013. They have demonstrated updated versions of Synaptics ClickPad gestures since this November video which you can find on YouTube.

How odd. Edge based multiple finger gesture support makes total sense to me, but selecting and moving things by clicking on a relative position on the trackpad would just be unworkable - a couple of millimetres to the left or right could mean a total miss for what you were intending.

.fahim said,
How odd. Edge based multiple finger gesture support makes total sense to me, but selecting and moving things by clicking on a relative position on the trackpad would just be unworkable - a couple of millimetres to the left or right could mean a total miss for what you were intending.

i agree, that makes no sense, im pretty sure there's a cursor somewhere.

myxomatosis said,
Oh well… a MacBook trackpad?! … How innovative

Lol what? I have a synaptics touchpad on my laptop, supports multitouch etc. All they're doing is improving the sensitivity on it.

Laptops (including the Macbooks) have been shipping without physical keys on their touchpads for a while now. Some people, including me, prefer having the keys. Some, like my wife, don't.

-Razorfold said,

Lol what? I have a synaptics touchpad on my laptop, supports multitouch etc. All they're doing is improving the sensitivity on it.

Laptops (including the Macbooks) have been shipping without physical keys on their touchpads for a while now. Some people, including me, prefer having the keys. Some, like my wife, don't.

there IS a physical key on the macbooks. the whole thing is basically a big click thing

Julius Caro said,

there IS a physical key on the macbooks. the whole thing is basically a big click thing


...Pretty sure you knew exactly what I meant lol. I meant the left and right click buttons if that makes it clearer for you. Some people prefer having that, some people prefer having what Macbooks have.

myxomatosis said,
Oh well… a MacBook trackpad?! … How innovative

Wow, one of the most ignorant comments of the day... Oh well.

Trackpads with 'multi-touch' from Synaptics and other companies have been on PCs since the 1990s.

The funny part, they have been around, YEARS before a freaking Mac even had two buttons on their Mouse, as the extra button was deemed 'confusing' by Apple.

Go troll a Mac forum, they won't know you are stupid.

thenetavenger said,

Wow, one of the most ignorant comments of the day... Oh well.

Trackpads with 'multi-touch' from Synaptics and other companies have been on PCs since the 1990s.

The funny part, they have been around, YEARS before a freaking Mac even had two buttons on their Mouse, as the extra button was deemed 'confusing' by Apple.

Go troll a Mac forum, they won't know you are stupid.


On your period? Got problems at home? Tell us, we're interested

thenetavenger said,

Wow, one of the most ignorant comments of the day... Oh well.

Trackpads with 'multi-touch' from Synaptics and other companies have been on PCs since the 1990s.

Interesting then how nobody other than Apple seems to have been able to get even two-finger scrolling working well until the last year or two.

myxomatosis said,


On your period? Got problems at home? Tell us, we're interested


Lol, the best way to deal with someone who provides you with a counterargument that makes sense? Attack the person. Very smart.

este said,
Neat idea for the Metro interface actually. Well done.

If done right it will make windows 8 more viable on older desktop designs