Pressure Touch Is Reborn On The Waterfall Screen, What Is The Future Of Pressure Touch?

- Nov 13, 2019-

China's touch screen network news, the standard of the waterfall screen era, on the pressure touch and the manufacturers behind it. For Apple's 3D Touch, its debut has been the eye-catching, once occupied the headlines of the technology media, known as the next generation of innovative technology. But what is not in line with the glory is that its ending is regrettable, quiet, as if it did not appear. Is 3D Touch easy to use? The answer is yes. The “pressure” leads to a new touch dimension that simplifies many of the cumbersome gestures (such as moving the cursor) in the past. But unfortunately, after several years of development, 3D Touch has not been able to find the killer application, and eventually it was ruined and then forgotten.



Tube 3D Touch did not succeed, but it ultimately left a valuable asset to the industry: pressure touch. We know that 3D Touch achieves fast interaction by using multi-level pressure buttons on the screen. The key point of the technology lies in "multi-level pressure", that is, pressure touch. At present, although 3D Touch is still exploring the next step, there are a number of flagship products on the market that make pressure touches “reborn”.


Talking from the waterfall screen


After Liu Haiping and the drop screen design, the waterfall screen has become a new choice for a number of smart machine manufacturers. Because the screen is bent to the sides of the fuselage, the waterfall screen physically "eliminates" the middle frame around the smart machine, and the front side visually presents a borderless visual effect. However, "eliminating" the middle frame has also brought a whole new problem, that is, the physical power button and the volume button are also "erased" along with the middle frame.


In other words, the physical buttons are gone.


However, physical buttons, including the power button and volume button, are indispensable for most users. For example, when we need to force a restart of the phone, it is necessary to use the power button and the volume button. So, is there a way to "install" the physical button on the side screen?


The answer is yes, that is the combination of pressure touch solution + tactile feedback system, which is the pressure-sensing waterfall screen that we can often see now. At present, with this combination mode, the waterfall screen product finally brings the shock feedback feeling comparable to the physical button, realizing the effect of false and real, and successfully let the “physical buttons” get back.


Pressure touch solution


Although we say that pressure touch is reborn on the waterfall screen, before the waterfall screen came out, the industry had some explorations on the scenes that can be applied to pressure touch. For example, the Nubian Z20 can improve the efficiency of the whole machine by pressing the pressure frame with convenient operation such as super screen capture and Maverick voice with a single grip. For example, the vivo iQOO adds two hidden game assist buttons to the phone frame by means of the pressure-sensitive button, which brings a new experience such as “four fingers to eat chicken” and enhances the game experience.


When the pressure touch continues to develop, it comes to a more suitable application scenario, the pressure sensitive button (power button and volume button). At present, two of the three waterfall screen flagships that have been officially announced, the vivo NEX3 and the Xiaomi MIX α are all determined to support the pressure sensitive button.


As we continue to dig deeper, we will find that the pressure touch solutions of the Nubian Z20, vivo iQOO or NEX3 have similarities in principle.


It is reported that the current pressure touch solution consists of three parts: voltage force sensor, pressure touch SoC and algorithm. Each part has its own unique technical points. In order to work properly with the pressure touch solution, the above three aspects need to be coordinated and implemented. For example, pressure sensors are required to solve a series of problems such as sensor signal quantity, reliability, and productivity. The pressure-touch SoC is capable of accurately measuring small-scale micro-signals and calibrating sensor adaptations.


As for the more detailed part, to solve the "mistakes" as an example, according to Hu Xiaojiang, a member of the core sea technology (provincial pressure touch solution provider), the NEX3 using the core sea pressure touch solution can solve the edge error. Touching the problem, the NEX3 pressure-sensing waterfall screen has a direct relationship with the mechanical entity button on the touch mechanism. We know that physical buttons require a certain amount of effort to be triggered. The key indicator here is the perception of touch pressure. The current pressure-sensitive chip can detect a minimum of 50g (force), which is much more accurate than the triggering force of a normal physical button (230g-280g). This also laid the foundation for NEX3 anti-missing.


In an interview, Li Xiaolong, vice president of Huawei's consumer business mobile phone product line, said, “The mistakes in our mobile phone (Huawei Mate 30 Pro) will never appear.” Explanation: “We divided the main screen of the mobile phone screen into three areas. In the middle is a flat-panel display, and the two sides are the bent areas. This means that the two bends of yours are not touched at all, and we have done a complete split."


When talking about the touch volume of Huawei Mate 30 Pro, Bruce Lee thinks: “It’s very convenient to get used to it.” From the market feedback of products such as NEX3, consumers are more positive about their waterfall pressure screen. Obviously, the practicality of the pressure touch solution has reached a high level.


Haptic feedback system


The tactile feedback system is undoubtedly an important technology of the same level as the pressure touch solution, and the two complement each other to become the successful escort of the pressure-sensitive waterfall screen. The haptic feedback system consists of an independent high-voltage tactile chip and a linear motor that delivers a detailed vibration experience. It seems that the linear motor part of the haptic feedback system can simulate the vibration of the physical mechanical buttons, which is the key to the pressure touch. At this point, the amazing "false" Home button on the iPhone 7 has been proven.


But if you want the linear motor to play its due strength, it is not enough to just do a linear motor. You must also follow up with the corresponding driver chip (independent high-voltage touch-sensitive chip). As far as the current market situation is concerned, such as NEX3 and Xiaomi MIX α, their high-voltage touch-sensitive chips (touch feedback systems) are all from the same supplier, namely Aiwei Electronic Technology Co., Ltd.


Ai said to the insider on the micro-network: "Ai Wei's touch feedback system was designed from the beginning of the system to fully consider the need for virtual buttons. When the pressure sensing system detects the threshold of pressure, it will pass a trigger signal. In this way, the corresponding tactile feedback can be quickly responded. In terms of feedback time, it takes only 1.2ms from the receipt of the trigger to the waveform appearing at both ends of the linear motor (starting work), and it can respond quickly." The touch feedback system also supports the triggering of the bilateral edges, and the key presses and releases have accurate tactile feedback.


In other words, from the Meizu 16 series to the latest OPPO Reno series, Ai Wei's independent high-voltage touch-sensitive chip is built in, which brings a delicate vibration touch experience and won the praise of consumers. Naturally, high-quality user reputation is also an important reason why Aiwei's high-voltage linear motor drive IC can win the favor of NEX3 and Xiaomi MIX.


Supporting Ai is the independent high-voltage touch-sensitive chip quality performance and Ai's first LCC (LRA Consistency Calibration) linear motor consistency self-calibration patented technology. With this technology, Ai is an independent high-voltage tactile chip that can achieve fine-tuning of the linear motor, allowing the fine vibration effect to be mass-produced. This is obviously also positive for the popularity of linear motors.


At present, Aiwei's high-pressure tactile feedback system has been well received by the industry. Its design is simple and responsive, and it can provide accurate tactile feedback. It has been adopted by the Oneplus 7 Pro/7T series, Xiaomi 9 Pro, Realme X2 and other products. In addition, the system also has a separate power supply system, which has no dependence on the platform, even if the phone is turned off. And its power consumption is extremely low (minimum 8 uA), and it is very friendly for everyday use. It can be said that it is its mature and excellent design, which laid the foundation for the commercialization of pressure touch buttons.


The future of pressure touch


A long time ago, Jony Ive, the former chief designer of Apple, described his ideal iPhone design. The whole body consists of a complete piece of glass, without holes and holes, and a truly integrated design. If you want such a design to become a reality, you must use pressure touch to simulate physical buttons. Nowadays, it seems that the interaction of the mobile phone frame and the pressure touch of the mobile phone's face value are the future of the smart phone.


But it must be pointed out that the current pressure touch solution is not perfect. The most obvious problem is its reliability. Note that the reliability mentioned here does not only refer to the life of the pressure touch solution, but also the sense of security brought by the physical buttons. The advantage of the physical button is the precise operation, blind pressing without pressure. But for a pressure touch solution, it is still difficult to achieve a similar experience.


Although the pressure touch solution is relatively mature, consumers still can't trust the degree of trust. Good Bitsla electric cars and traditional gasoline cars, we all know that electric cars are the future, but in terms of the status quo, electric drives are not as good as gasoline-driven drivers. With the machine controlled by the screen touch, the sense of security is far from being able to catch up with the physical buttons.


After all, for centuries, we humans have dealt with physical buttons. For a hundred years of habit, it takes a long time for consumers to change their acceptance of new things from the heart.