In a story earlier this week, we uncovered Force Touch (3D Touch or Pressure Sensitive) Screens are currently being tested for use in Chromebooks.
To add to the ongoing story, here are a few more details for those of you who get into all the specifics.
Fist off, as seen in this commit, when we referenced the MIP4 drivers being worked on for Chrome OS, MIP4 actually stands for Melfas Interface Protocol Version 4. What’s more is that we can see the actual devices Melfas uses with this protocol: MMS400, MMS500, MCS8000, MIT200, MIT300, MIT400, MFS10.
Researched agains Melfas’ website, the one device on this list that supports MFS (Melfas Force Solution) is the MFS-10. You can take a look at it here (though there’s not much to see).
Being that all the commits around Melfas are in reference to pressure-sensitive touch, we can narrow it down to the MFS-10 being the screen in use for testing right now. Interestingly, this device is not featured on any devices yet (according to the site), so a Chromebook may be the first device it gets featured on.
Can you say Chromebook exclusive?
From that devices spec sheet we can also gather:
The principle of the forcing (or pressure) touch is that the pressure electrode which is comprised of the conductive electrode pattern senses the formed capacitance from the conductive area of the set counterpart which is duplicated with this. Recognizing the change of the capacitance which is formed from the distance changed from the set counterpart and the pressure electrode according to the pressure, it detects the intensity of the pressure.
What?!? Short version: the screen does cool stuff to detect pressure.
While these details don’t do too much to shed light on what Google is planning with this, it gives us another concrete piece of evidence that Force Touch, 3D Touch, or whatever-you-want-to-call-it touch is on it’s way to a Chromebook near you.