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Wacom Announces Capacitive Touch Plans



We’ve been waiting for official word on Wacom’s plans for capacitive touch for quite some time and it looks like we’ve got that some inclination of where they are going now. According to this press release from Tokyo, Wacom is now announcing that they will deliver capacitive touchscreens in 2009. Quoting from the press release:

The new product line, based on Wacom’s patent pending Reversing Ramped Field Capacitive (RRFC) technology that was first shown at the International Society for Information Display Exhibition in May, 2008, will be marketed under the name CapPLUS, and will provide new levels of durability and performance to desktop monitor and vertical market equipment OEMs: including producers of casino and bar games, retail, lotteryand hospitality point-of-sale terminals, digital signage, self-service kiosks of all types, hospital patient monitoring and bedside multimedia stations, and industrial process automation equipment and all-in-one panel PCs.

CapPLUS will provide a very competitive stand-alone solution for all touchscreen-based devices or can be paired with Wacom’s market-leading EMR pen-input technology and other input solutions to enable new user experiences.

Now, the next step is to hear how and when we’ll see this technology begin to be implemented in Tablet PCs and other mobile touch screen devices.

Check out the full press release here.




  1. rocke86

    11/02/2008 at 5:12 am

    I posted this over at tabletpcreview…
    For Wacom’s new touch technology it appears that both the touch and active digitizer will be driven by the same architecture so this should greatly reduce cost and implementation issues. Can’t wait to see this in tablet pcs!

    “Integration with Wacom’s market-leading EMR pen technology

    For Tablet PC OEMs designing dual-input applications, Wacom RRFC touch technology can be easily integrated with Wacom’s market-leading EMR pen-input technology. Wacom RRFC touch uses the same mass-produced ASIC and MCU electronics architecture as its market-leading EMR pen input technology. Both pen and touch input are driven from the same ASIC/MCU pair, thereby reducing cost while assuring superior optical performance. OEMs will have little additional cost, other than the difference between the sensor glass and the current LCD protection panel, in order to add this exciting new technology to any device that uses Wacom EMR pen technology today.”

  2. zunq

    11/02/2008 at 9:59 am

    Does capacitive touch offer better inking experience with a stylus than passive touch? If the software end can differentiate the press of a palm to the press of a stylus I think it could permanently replace an active digitizer. The Fujitsu P1630 could surely benefit from better inking.

  3. David

    11/02/2008 at 11:20 am

    Zunq – capacitive touch screens are not like pressure sensitive touch screens in that the registration of the stylus/finger/etc on the pressure screens is based, simplistically, on the forcing two conductive surfaces together – basically closing a circuit. The capacitive screens rely on the pointing device altering the flow of energy on the touch surface. That is why you will get no reaction from a plain plastic stylus on the surface of an iPod Touch or iPhone – the plastic does not provide the change in capacitance, while a finger or special stylus will. Due to this difference, a special stylus would be required for capacitive screens.

    I do not know how the performance of the rejection technology (ability to “focus” on one set of inputs (e.g. stylus or finer) while ignoring other inputs (a palm)) compares between the two technologies. So I guess I cannot answer your question, but I thought it would be useful to point out the special requirements of a capacitive screen versus a pressure-based screen.


  4. rocke86

    11/02/2008 at 3:31 pm

    Since both the capacitive and active digitizer will be compatible with each other in this technology no palm rejection is needed. It will work just like the other dual touch tablets; once you bring the pen near the screen the touch is disabled.

  5. randy

    11/02/2008 at 9:11 pm

    Hmm…first half of 2009. So, would, say, Lenovo implement this without a new model release? If I’m thinking of getting the x200 tablet, should I try to hold out for this? Or would that require waiting for a whole new product late next year or who knows when?

  6. ambidextrose

    11/03/2008 at 8:30 pm

    I’m guessing (relatively) older TabletPCs like the TX2500Z will probably get refreshed with this technology ahead of more recent updates like the X200T, HP2730P, T5010, and I just hope that by that time, there are better IGP options out there (i.e., better than the 9400M) since it looks like TabletPCs with discrete graphics cards is simply not an option anymore (and had been for a while now).

    I’m still waiting for updates to other brands like Asus R1 and Gateway (are they even still in the game?) that may come adopt and this technology for their next incarnation before the other brands do.

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