We have been interacting with our phones by using touch gestures for years. Although the technology has been significantly improved to offer better and better sensibility and accuracy, the way we “communicate” with the device hasn’t changed for a while. Last month, Apple introduced the 3D Touch capability to its newest iPhones and now everyone is talking about it. Although they weren’t the first ones to do so, all the attention has been turned for the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. If you are unaware of it, 3D Touch (or Force Touch) is a technology that detects not only where the user touched the screen but the amount of force is put on it, resulting in new types of interactions. Some Android manufacturers have already released smartphones with such technology, including the Huawei Mate S and the upcoming ZTE Axon Mini, but there’s nothing coming from Samsung yet. Since the Korean company is the largest smartphone maker in the world, we start to wonder if they will be introducing something similar to its upcoming devices.
Two days ago, Synaptics announced their ClearForce technology that recognizes various pressure levels for touchscreen panels. It was reported that they have been working close with Android Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), meaning we could see more phones with such feature next year. Samsung and Synaptics are long partners and the company has helped the Korean maker with touch-based fingerprint sensors in this year’s smartphones, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if they were working together to bring something for the upcoming Galaxy handsets. Some people ask the usefulness of Force Touch. Apple has introduced an interesting feature using 3D Touch that is the ability to launch shortcuts for apps by pressing their icons on the home screen. On Android, we could have, for example, a universal pressure interaction to trigger a menu, replacing the 3-dotted icon usually found on user interfaces, and much more.
The rumors about the upcoming Galaxy S7 are already gearing up, but so far we have seen only hardware tips. In the coming months, we are likely to see more leaked features and since the S7 is the next important flagship from Samsung, who knows touch pressure may be there. Current rumors suggest the phone will repeat the Galaxy S6 edge/edge+ duo, coming in two different screen sizes, coming with 5.2 and other with 5.8 inches screens, both sporting curved edges. They are also rumored to have a 4K display, 4 GB of RAM and are likely to be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 and Samsung’s Exynos 8890 chipsets for different markets. Samsung usually releases the Galaxy SX in the first quarter of each year, so we can expect it to come around February.