Tech

Boréas launches NexusTouch sensors to bring force feedback to smartphones and gaming phones

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Boréas Technologies has unveiled its NexusTouch sensing technology that will give you touch feedback in a new generation of smartphones and gaming phones.

The Bromont, Quebec-based company hopes its tech will be built into new smartphones that can perform functions such as touch-rich tap, swipe, and click sensations when you use controls on a smartphone.

It is a new kind of piezo sensor technology that combines gesture detection with high-definition haptic feedback. The NexusTouch tech allows designers to expand touch-based user interfaces on the sides of smartphones and gaming phones.

The platform enables seamless context-sensitive swipes, taps, and clicks while delivering rich haptic (touch) feedback. Blending advanced gesture sensing with localized haptics, NexusTouch
supports a range of new use cases, from finger-clicks that make a smartphone feel like a DSLR camera to customizable trigger effects that replace mechanical toggles on a premium gaming phone.

NexusTouch also features dynamic virtual button-mapping, which allows manufacturers to replace traditional mechanical power and volume buttons with area-specific system functionality and tactile effects.

Evolving tech

Above: NexusTouch is a haptic tech for smartphones.

Image Credit: Boreas

Touch technology is evolving. Old-fashioned capacitive touch technology has forced users into mechanical switches and button pushes on the sides of the phone. Newer ultrasonic technology provides gesture detection, but not sensory feedback. By contrast, NexusTouch piezoelectric sensor technology supports both manufacturer-customizable gestures, and intuitive, localized haptic effects — essential requirements of a satisfying user experience, the company said.

CEO Simon Chaput said in a statement that the race for competitive advantage in smartphones is fierce, and making a good user interface is a vital part of that competition. He said manufacturers have tried replacing traditional buttons and switches with different sensor technologies for gesture detection. But they have not caught on in the mainstream because all lack the reassuring physical sensations of haptic feedback.

The NexusTouch promises to open new real estate for the first time on the sides of the phone to advanced gesture detection with localized haptics, Chaput said.

Core technology

NexusTouch is based on the Boréas CapDrive technology, a patented, scalable high-voltage, low-power piezoelectric platform that enables high-definition (HD) haptic effects for a wide range of applications, including wearables and smartphones, automotive infotainment, and next-generation safety applications.

NexusTouch marks the introduction of gesture detection to the Boréas portfolio of user-interface technologies. The company will show NexusTouch at the virtual Display Week Symposium seminar from May 17 to May 18, presented by the Society for Information Display (SID).

Boréas was founded in 2016. Rivals include Sentons.

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