The Dongbu HiTek touch controller also can activate a smartphone with a double-tap on the blank screen and even works when the user is wearing gloves -- a boon for everyone trying to use their phones during cold weather.
It also works when the gloves are wet, according to Song. "Our glove-touch function, recognizes touch gestures while wearing gloves... For example, you are washing dishes wearing rubber gloves, and your daughter calls you from abroad. Then you can receive the call immediately using the wet gloves."
Market strategy and power savings
Dongbu HiTek already manufactures many touch-screen controllers for the Chinese market, plus ambient light proximity sensors, power management chips, and the CMOS image sensors used in many Chinese smartphones, such as Huawei's.
The company hopes its new Capacitive Touch Controller IC will expand its market share as the world's first to recognize simple touch gestures when screens are in standby (screen-off) mode.
What's more, according to Dongbu HiTek, commands can be given to apps without the screen having to come on at all, thus saving power. Audio apps, for instance, can skip to the next song, control the volume, even select playlists with unique user-defined symbols drawn on the darkened screen.
In touch controller market that is at $2.3 billion and growing, according to IHS Technology, the company hopes this makes the difference.
— R. Colin Johnson, Advanced Technology Editor, EE Times