Qeexo is a software company building a suite of touchscreen products for the future using existing hardware. Instead of redesigning existing touchscreens and their controllers, the company is using smarter software to determine how the user is operating the device. We’ve already seen Qeexo’s technology used in a number of Huawei smartphones: the P8 and P9 families, Mate 8, Mate S, P8, Honor V8 and Honor 7 all use Qeexo’s FingerSense technology, albeit rebranded by Huawei called “Knuckle Sense.” This is the software that allows these devices to determine how the user is using the touchscreen and so lets the software take a screen image when the screen is knocked with a knuckle twice, as one example. Other software features include enabling the split screen view by dragging a line across the screen with a knuckle and launching applications by drawing a character with a knuckle. FingerSense uses two existing sensors – the accelerometer and touchscreen – plus a high performance, lightweight software algorithm to determine how the user is handling and using the touchscreen.
Qeexo have also developed a software solution called TouchTools designed to replace the traditional toolbar of icons: through touch control, users can bring up a similar selection of different tools such as the pen, eraser, camera, tape measure, measuring tool and a magnifying glass. Qeexo’s genius touch is in making the device similar to use as though it were the real tool, but the software is compatible with existing multitouch screen controllers. This means it could be adopted by existing device manufacturers or operating system engineers. TouchTool’s software understands the alignment of the user’s digits on the screen and the pose of the hand, which is ascertains through machine learning technology. The current software is able to be effectively used out of the box by 99% of users and it’s available now to app developers and device manufacturers. Qeexo believe that this technology is applicable from devices ranging from our wearable technology through smartphones, tablets, to bigger wall-mounted displays such as digital advertising boards. It has other applications such as in-car dashboard touchscreen controls for the in-car entertainment and comfort (air conditioning) systems. For mobile device application designers, the software can easily be incorporated into applications, which means developers don’t have to limit compatibility to those devices with manufacturer-provided FingerSense technology.
Another use for Qeexo’s machine learning software touchscreen control is how it could enable device manufacturers to remove sensors and by doing so, slim down bezels. Qeexo have designed EarSense, which determines if a touchscreen is making contact with a cheek or ear and can be used to disable the screen. This potentially removes the need for a traditional proximity sensor, which in turn frees up a little space close to the screen. It removes a part from the device and replaces it with software. Qeexo also produce ForceImpact, which aims to recognize how hard a display is being tapped.
Perhaps Qeexo’s biggest claim to fame is not the range of touchscreen features that its software may add to devices, but that the technology is software based and allows device manufacturers to add new functionality to existing hardware and sensors. We may not see manufacturers rolling out TouchTools-type technology to existing devices but instead we may see future models using this. We may see productivity applications using TouchTools technology to render the stylus, or Samsung’s S-Pen, back into the desktop drawer. And of course, we cannot discount that application developers may introduce Qeexo technology into applications. Check out the embedded YouTube clip below.