Synaptics Debuts Fuse Next-Generation Mobile Phone Concept

Synaptics Incorporated, a leading developer of human interface solutions for
mobile computing, communications, and entertainment devices, today introduced
Fuse, a collaborative mobile phone concept, demonstrating the future of user
interaction for handsets. Integrating for the first time multiple interface
technologies – including multi-touch capacitive sensing, haptic feedback, 3-D
graphics, and force, grip, and proximity sensing – the Fuse concept phone
showcases exciting new mobile device usage models. In addition, Fuse
demonstrates to device manufacturers the value of ecosystem collaborations
providing a model for designing multi-modal interfaces that will optimize the
user experience on next-generation handheld device. Every step in the value
chain affects and is affected by the end product. A truly collaborative approach
takes advantage of each partner’s unique contributions in benefiting the

Beyond Today’s Touchscreen

Fuse extends the now-prevalent touchscreen-based user experience first
unveiled in August 2006 with Synaptics’ award-winning Onyx mobile concept. With
Fuse’s bold lineup of innovative interface technologies, Synaptics and partners
tackle the difficulty of single-handed usage and the need to look at the screen
– two key challenges faced by on-the-go users in current-generation touchscreen

Fuse’s innovative sensing technologies surrounding the entire device enable
quick, intuitive, single-handed navigation. For example, grip sensing achieved
via force and capacitive touch sensors on the sides of the phone allows the user
to execute common controls such as pan and scroll. In addition to the novel side
sensors, Fuse introduces for the first time, 2D navigation from the back of the
phone. This feature offers yet another mode of effective and fun single-handed
control without obstructing the display or enhanced usability, Fuse combines
multiple sensory input and feedback technologies including active 3-D graphics
and next-generation haptic effects.

"Consumers have many options when it comes to choosing a smartphone, and
though many phones are loaded with applications to simplify one’s life, they
often accomplish just the opposite," said William Stofega, research manager for
mobile device technology and trends at IDC. "Synaptics partnering with
innovative industry leaders to deliver an intelligent concept device that has
the consumers’ lifestyles in mind will help showcase the true potential of the

Collaborative Design

The Fuse mobile phone concept is the result of a unique collaboration between
Synaptics and four global partners – TheAlloy, The Astonishing Tribe (TAT),
Immersion, and Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI). With human interface
and digital lifestyle in mind, the Fuse design team created a stunning and
functional user interface with innovative new modes of sensing input, and visual
and haptic feedback.

Each partner provided valuable expertise and contributions to the

  • TheAlloy led the user experience and overall product design efforts.
  • TAT enabled the effective 3-D environment and lent their extensive user
    interface software design skills.
  • Immersion made possible the tactile feedback, ensuring an integrated and
    satisfying experience.
  • TI’s OMAP 3630 processor provided the framework and platform to leverage
    the enhanced multimedia, graphics and imaging features that consumers

Additionally, Synaptics’ ClearPad, NavPoint, and TouchButtons
solutions are used in the Fuse mobile concept to offer unique capabilities –
such as two-finger input, proximity sensing, grip sensing, text entry, and
high-resolution finger input – providing precise pointing and navigation that
can dramatically improve and enhance the user experience with a touchscreen.

Future handset innovation will rely on the relationship between technology
design and designers to unlock the potential of mobile phones as an ideal
computing platform. Fuse illustrates to OEMs the advances in Synaptics’ sensing
technologies and the collaborative effort that will inspire a new wave of
multi-modal input design.

"The best touch experience requires the expertise and collaboration of
ecosystem leaders to optimize what the user sees and feels," said Gopal Garg,
senior vice president of Synaptics’ handheld business unit and corporate
marketing. "The improved sensory experience of Fuse will drive handset
innovation to evolve, taking the current generation of touch-based interaction
to the next level of human-device interaction."

"The Fuse project has demonstrated the power of multi-party collaboration to
deliver experience-led innovation," said Gus Desbarats, chairman, TheAlloy.
"Each partner within the Fuse project has helped to show the effect that
leading-edge technology can deliver when applied with design thinking."

"Exceptional user experience differentiates the best designs," said Craig
Vachon, senior vice president and general manager of Immersion’s touch line of
business. "Fuse exemplifies the power of collaboration and realizes what is
possible by integrating innovative technology, including Immersion’s
next-generation TouchSense solutions. Working with these partners has been
gratifying; Fuse is further validation that our haptics technology brings to
life the power of touch and makes devices more intuitive, satisfying, and fun to

"Providing our technology in order to showcase user experience paradigms of
next generation devices is one of the key ingredients that keep TAT ahead of the
trends in mobile user interfaces," says Charlotta Falvin, chief executive
officer of The Astonishing Tribe. "Realizing design ideas that push the limits
of technology like the Fuse UI does is one of our passions."

"The world is changing, and so is the way people interact with their mobile
devices. TI is excited to be a part of the innovative Fuse concept that
reiterates the significant headway we’re making to advance mobile user
experiences," said Fred Cohen, director of worldwide ecosystem partners for
Texas Instruments. "TI’s OMAP platform works in sync with these other impressive
technologies to bring big-screen, life-like capabilities to consumers’

Fuse will be demonstrated during CES in Las Vegas at the Synaptics,
Immersion, and TI meeting areas, and at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in


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