Thinnest wireless touch surface demo connected by Bluetooth Smart chips

September 03, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
CSR has created a demonstration of a new variation of the HMI, with a keyboard/gesture interface that is a paper-thin wireless touch surface.

Bluetooth IC maker CSR, promoting the Bluetooth Smart standard, has developed – as a demonstrator – what it describes as the world’s thinnest wireless touch interface. The flexible device, which is less than 0.5 mm thick, turns any area into a touch surface. Combining CSR’s low-power wireless technology with the latest in printable, flexible electronics and touch screen sensing, the device can be used to extend the touch interface of tablets and smartphones.

CSR's demo takes the form of a thin-sheet printed keyboard. Electrode patterns are laid down by the metal-film ink-jet printing process of CIT (Conductive Inkjet Technology) and capacitive touch sensing is with an Atmel device

Light weight and flexible, the device can be integrated into a protective cover (of a tablet, for example) or used to create large touch zones on a desktop. With minimal weight and bulk, a full keyboard experience can be added to a tablet without taking up valuable screen area. Thin enough to slip behind the pages of a notebook, it can be used to pick up handwriting and sketches from the nib of a modified pen.

The paper-thin surface is wirelessly connected using the recently launched CSR1010 chip, part of the CSR µEnergy range, which is optimised solely for Bluetooth Smart. This allows it to connect to the latest iOS7 mobile devices and Windows 8 PCs using a fraction of the power of standard Bluetooth, enabling long battery life and maintaining the smallest form factor. Touch latency is also minimised to less than 12 msec, ensuring near instant visual feedback and enabling a seamless user experience.

“Consumers want innovative, portable wireless accessories that just work with their mobile devices,” says Paul Williamson, Director of Low Power Wireless at CSR. “The ultra-thin touch surface we’ve developed is a perfect example of how Bluetooth Smart can give them just that

CSR partnered with Atmel and Conductive Inkjet Technology (CIT) to develop the ultra-thin wireless