Synaptics Unveils Touch-Sensitive Space Bar for Quick Editing, Scrolling, and More

California-based computer hardware developer Synaptics has developed SmartBar, a technology which seeks to add touch gesture features to the keyboard space bar. The company is pitching this new technology to original equipment manufacturers at Computex 2015 to develop products that enhance user productivity and usability of the keyboard.The Synaptics SmartBar, designed for desktop PCs and laptops, uses capacitive sensing technology on the space bar of the keyboard, which makes it possible to use certain gestures which can be programmed to trigger certain functions. For example, swiping on the SmartBar can select entire words, forward or backward, for quick editing. Similarly, appropriate gestures can be used for quick zooming or vertical scrolling, and up to five logical programmable buttons can be set, which can link to critical game controls or repetitive desktop functions.

An early adopter of the Synaptics SmartBar technology is Tt eSPORTS, the gaming accessory division of Thermaltake. “Enabling keyboard space bars with this powerful solution highlights our commitment to offering the most personalized and highest quality experience,” said Kenny Lin, Chairman and CEO of Thermaltake.

Huibert Verhoeven, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Human Interface Systems Division (HISD), Synaptics, said, “Integrating our touch and biometrics technology into the desktop market is a natural extension of our solutions, and just the next step in our mission to further advance the human interface revolution.”

Synaptics was founded as a neural network research company in 1986, but gained fame when it started shipping commercial products in 1995, starting with its flagship TouchPad mouse interface. Many laptops all over the world use Synaptics touchpads even today. The company will be looking to tap into the largely underdeveloped PC and laptop industry with the new SmartBar technology, in order to develop the nascent state of touch control in the PC market.