Sharp's sensitive 70-inch LCD responds to brushstrokes

Capacitive touch panels are getting closer to paper or canvas in sensitivity

Sharp on Tuesday showed off a prototype screen embedded with a transparent NFC antenna that processes payment when touched with an NFC-equipped card. It could be used as a point of purchase in cash register or vending machine screens.

Sharp on Tuesday showed off a prototype screen embedded with a transparent NFC antenna that processes payment when touched with an NFC-equipped card. It could be used as a point of purchase in cash register or vending machine screens.

LCDs aren't ideal for drawing, but you might be hard-pressed to remember that with Sharp's latest displays.

The capacitive touch panel screens, shown off Tuesday in Tokyo, provide an experience that's closer than ever to working with pen and paper, even with large screens.

Technology in the prototypes could be used in a range of applications from sketching to calligraphy to writing memos on mobile devices.

At a demonstration at its Tokyo headquarters, staffers used a long calligraphy brush with capacitive fibers to write on a 70-inch LCD screen. They wrote a series of Chinese characters with a finesse that resembled traditional brush-and-ink writing, an ancient art form in East Asia.

On another screen, they used a smaller brush to add touches to an illustration of a dragon that resembled a watercolor painting. The screens also respond to pencils and other capacitive tools.

Capacitive stylus brushes and touchscreens that respond to pencil have been commercialized already, but Sharp says its displays are more sensitive and work with large formats.

When screens are larger, noise from the display reduces the sensitivity of the touch panel. Sharp was able to keep the noise in check by using a parallel drive sensing method, which drives the processes of multiple touch sensors at the same time.

By adjusting the signal-processing software for the screen, Sharp achieved a signal-to-noise ratio about eight times higher than that seen in conventional sequential drive controllers, according to the company.

While the screens are still under development, large, highly sensitive touch panels could be used for creative, educational and business purposes such as digital whiteboards. Smaller versions could form the basis for more sensitive mobile device screens.

Sharp also showed off a number of other displays. It updated its Free Form Display, announced last year as a prototype in-vehicle screen with curved sides, by adding an arched top that has a touch sensor along the edge. By moving his fingers along the edge and tapping it at various spots, a staffer called up different perspectives in a 3D car navigation app, as well as various music selections and views from exterior car cameras.

Sharp also exhibited a cash-register screen with a transparent embedded NFC antenna that allows customers to simply touch an NFC payment card to the screen to make a transaction, eliminating the need for a separate payment terminal. The technology could also be used in next-generation vending machines, letting users buy a drink by touching an NFC card to an image of it shown on the machine's display.

The company plans to mass produce the Free Form and NFC screens in 2016, but has not decided on plans for large capacitive touch panels yet, a spokeswoman said.

Tim Hornyak covers Japan and emerging technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Tim on Twitter at @robotopia.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags sharpconsumer electronicsdisplaysComponents

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tim Hornyak

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?