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Synaptics Extending TouchPad Technology to the Digital Living Room

People following what Google TV is up to, and wondering how home users are going to interact with web content on their TVs, will be interested to know that Synaptics is on the case. The company has just announced that their working with Philips Home Control to integrate TouchPad technology into future remotes. The added tech will enable the remotes to take in touch and gesture commands (assuming this means multi-touch commands like: rotate, pinch-to-zoom, swipe, etc.) for moving a cursor on a TV screen, navigating menu systems / media libraries, and scrolling web pages. Unfortunately, no prototype is available to show (above is Philips’ TSU9400 remote), but it does sound good. I’m curious what the form factor of these remotes will be and how text input will work.

Synaptics TouchPad™ Technology Extends into the Digital Living Room

New Digital Home Entertainment Usage Models Demand a More Intuitive User Interface for Remote Control Devices

SANTA CLARA, Calif., July 28 — Synaptics Inc. (Nasdaq: SYNA), a leading developer of human interface solutions for mobile computing, communications, and entertainment devices, is helping to simplify the user experience in the digital living room with an adaption of its industry-leading TouchPad™ solution.

Improved digital home entertainment systems including cable and satellite set-top boxes, digital video recorders (DVR), and HD televisions have driven the media and entertainment usage model evolution with a wide range of features and programming, multiple layers of information, and complicated menu structures.
Synaptics is currently working with Philips Home Control, a leading wireless input and control solution provider, on implementing an optimized hardware-level specification for TouchPad technology that provides easy integration into remote control devices to improve the usability of these complicated user interfaces and increase the interaction between users and content. TouchPad technology allows users to navigate a cursor, scroll through menus and media libraries, and make selections similar to how they would on a PC notebook in a highly-productive, intuitive, and efficient manner.

“We believe that our touch technology will significantly improve the entertainment experience in a transition similar to what we have seen in the mobile space — increased data and content on smartphones required a dynamic, touch-oriented, and gesture-based interface,” said Mark Vena, senior vice president and general manager of Synaptics’ PC division. “In the digital living room, remote control devices can benefit from intuitive capacitive touch interaction such as pointing or scrolling gestures. New usage models for entertainment such as Google TV and Windows 7 Media Center will bring more functionality, content, and complexity to the media experience such that button controls will not provide a friendly user experience.”

Microsoft, Logitech, Sony, and Medion have utilized Synaptics TouchPad technology in the remote control category for several years, originating with Synaptics’ “Boomerang” concept remote control in 2007. Synaptics believes that the adoption of its TouchPad and gesture technology in the remote control device category will experience initial momentum with bundled remotes (e.g. combined with set-top boxes or HDTVs) where advanced functionality is more widely available.

About Synaptics
Synaptics (Nasdaq: SYNA) is a leading developer of human interface solutions for the mobile computing, communications, and entertainment industries. The company creates interface solutions for a variety of devices including notebook PCs, PC peripherals, digital music players, and mobile phones. The TouchPad™, Synaptics’ flagship product, is integrated into a majority of today’s notebook computers. Consumer electronics and computing manufacturers use Synaptics’ solutions to enrich the interaction between humans and intelligent devices through improved usability, functionality, and industrial design. The company is headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif.

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