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Sony Xperia sola’s Floating Touch explained

Recently Sony has introduced its new Xperia sola that features a unique Floating Touch technology. From the earlier videos, we’ve seen how selecting links on touch screen is made easier by simply moving your finger tip without touching the display. So how does floating touch work? Sony explains more over at its developer blog.

Developed in cooperation with Cypress Technology, the Xperia sola combines self capacitance & mutual capacitance sensors to make floating touch works. Most smart phones today uses mutual capacitance which allows multi touch possible as it senses touch points accurately. However this method uses lower signals, which won’t sense hovering activities. For self capacitance, it uses a larger sensors that create larger signals that’s strong enough to detect finger hovering up to 20mm from the screen. However the downside is that it can’t support multi touch.

The solution for the Xperia sola is to combine both on the same touch screen simultaneously. For touch events, you still get the same familiar multi-touch functionality while for hovering, it can only detect one finger at a time.

The biggest benefit would be the web browser as it can make use of HTML5 hover events. To expand its usage, third party developers can make use of hovering events that comes with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich API. The Xperia sola as standard will also come with floating touch enabled live wallpapers.

Read the full explanation at the source link.