My Afternoon Talking About Touch

Dr. Andrew HsuEvery day, alongside my concept prototyping team, I live and breathe research on touch technology. One of the more enjoyable aspects of my job at Synaptics is participating in panel sessions where I get to share my opinions on the current and future state of human interfaces.

Recently, I was invited to participate in a panel discussion hosted by BTIG on the future of touch technology. Moderated by Cathal Phelan, former CTO of Cypress, the panel included Owen Drumm, CTO of RAPT; Daniel Gelbtuch, CFO of Neonode; and Rob Petcavich, CTO of UniPixel.

Over the 90-minute session, my fellow panelists and I covered a lot of ground. We responded to questions ranging from the relevance of stylus input, whether voice would ever replace touch and even whether there would ever be a standard screen size. There was also a lively discussion on whether there was any innovation left for touch, as opposed to touch simply being a race to lower costs.

Early in the session, I broke down Synaptics’ technical expertise into three informal silos: cost innovation, performance innovation to our existing products and advanced technology and partnerships. Synaptics’ market leadership is based on more than just servicing our OEM customers, product innovation and excellent delivery execution. Our unique focus on research and innovation in advanced human interface trends is what gives our technology the Synaptics touch. With human-machine interfaces and touch technology receiving attention and prominence in the design of electronic devices, it’s quite a treat to educate and evangelize others on all the hard work done at Synaptics to make our device interaction as widespread and as intuitive as possible.

It was also educational for me to learn how non-capacitive touch players like Neonode and RAPT viewed the market. Overall, the panel responses seemed to validate Synaptics’s overall technical strategy for remaining relevant in the area of human interfaces.

I’m always thrilled to be a part of such a dynamic discussion about the future of our field; and, of course, it’s always nice to see that gorgeous view of San Francisco from the 48th floor of the Transamerica pyramid!