Today Synaptics announced the ClearPad 3700, a new touchscreen controller for smartphones that will add “ClearForce variable force sensing” to smartphones that use it. We have no doubt that we’ll see it (or a controller like it) show up in some of 2016’s flagship phones, the ones that all of a sudden and for no particular reason want to include pressure sensitivity. The 3700 also supports a feature called “SideTouch,” which lets you use the bezels of the phone for scrolling and tapping without obscuring the content on the display with your finger.
The ClearPad 3600 is a lower-end touchscreen controller that doesn’t include ClearForce or SideTouch but is “optimized for mainstream smartphones” and improves performance. It supports “enhanced gloved touch, two finger tracking with moisture on display, multiple user-defined gesture recognition,” and a feature called “FaceDetect” that claims it can replace proximity sensors.
There’s also the new ClearPad 7800 series, which is intended for larger tablets, laptops, or convertibles. It improves performance, passive pen input, and palm rejection and is “optimized for large touch screens up to 17.3 inches.”
Synaptics says that the ClearPad 3700 and 7800 controllers are currently being mass-produced and are presumably available for OEMs to integrate into their products now. The ClearPad 3600 is currently sampling and will begin mass production in Q4 of 2015.