Sony announced the Xperia Sola yesterday, and among some mid-tier specs and an unfortunate hunk of Gingerbread, there was a pretty unique (if gimmicky) feature to be found: "floating touch." One of Sony's research engineers has posted a quick writeup explaining how the touch-free finger-sensing technology works. According to the engineer, mutual capacitance – which is used on most touchscreens – has many sensors that can pick up two distinctive, physical touch events. The Sola's screen is different, however: it uses a mutual capacitance sensor to pick up physical touch, but it also uses a separate self capacitance sensor to pick up signals up to 22mm away from the screen.
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Sony Xperia Sola's 'floating touch' screen technology explained
Dante D'Orazio – theverge.com