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According to DigiTimes, touch panel manufacturers in Taiwan have let slip that they are working on sensors for the next iPhone. It was already widely anticipated that the new technology would make its way to Apple’s mobile range, and though this isn’t an official announcement it pretty much seals the deal.
Force Touch uses a series of pressure sensitive sensors along with physical sensory feedback to enable more to be done from the same amount of space on screen. It can detect how hard you press, offering alternative functions when tapped harder – a little like right-clicking on a computer. The Taptic Engine can provide a ‘click sensation’ – or any other force feedback – when you press the screen.
Apparently Apple’s design team is yet to decide how best to incorporate the sensors, and are still experimenting with two different options: “placing the sensor between the outermost protective screen cover and the In-Cell touch panel or beneath the touch panel backlighting layer”. Hopefully they’ll have it all figured out in time for the annual September keynote event, where the new phones are typically unveiled.
The next generation is expected to include the iPhone 6S, the iPhone 6S Plus and the heavily rumored iPhone 6C. The latter would be a cheaper model, lighter on power and features, and is unlikely to include Force Touch. It’s a safe bet that the flagship 6S models will take advantage of the technology though.
Keep your eyes peeled for Force Touch capabilities to be a major part of Apple’s presentation this Fall.