With all the possible aplications that touch technology might touch, a call to arms was launched at SID to develop standard testing procedures for touch panle technologies.
A paper delivered at SID talked to the need for a measuring stick for evaluating multi-touch panels. Researchers at Bordeaux, France-based Stantum maintained that while this emerging industry is poised for explosive growth, its promise might not hold true if the ever-increasing number of multitouch hardware suppliers fail to meet end-users' expectations.
To that end, developing an objective benchmark of tactile performance has become a key challenge.
In their paper, they maintain that existing metrology gives useful data with regards to the mechanical and optical performances of touch panels. However,
what's failed to be measured is what matters most to the user: tactile performance.
A user-centric metrology needs to evaluate objectively the usability of available solutions. Their
paper describes such as methodology.
In essence, the researchers propose to sort tactile performance within three main categories. In evaluating tactile features, the methodology encompasses all the performance factors that are related to the quantity and richness of tactile information provided by the touch panel. This includes the number of reported touches as well as the capability to discriminate different kinds of contact objects.
A far as usability is concerned, the methodology needs to look at all the performance factors that make the user feel like he/she interacts seamlessly with the graphic user interface, exactly the same way he/she would with real-life objects. For instance, latency, or a change of the scan rate should be proportional as the number of contacts increases.
Finally, the methoidology needs to test trustworthiness. Here performance factors are measured in terms of jitter, contact merging distance, and linearity.
Statum, originally founded under the name JazzMutant in 2002, created a multi-touch screen that could track an unlimited number of fingers. In 2009 the company completed a $13M Series B financing round and ST Microelectronics announced chips with Stantum multi-touch technology.