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CSR paper-thin wireless touch surface powered by Bluetooth Smart

By Damir Beciri
9 September 2013

csr-ultra-thin-keyboard-1Designer and developer of hardware and software for the consumer electronics market CSR recently unveiled what they claim to be the world’s thinnest wireless touch interface. The flexible device, which is less than 0.5 mm thick, turns any area into a touch surface and holds great potential to extend existing devices by adding touch interface in order to enhance their usability.

The paper-thin surface is wirelessly connected using the recently launched CSR1010 chip, part of the CSR µEnergy range, which is optimized solely for Bluetooth Smart. Introduced with the Bluetooth 4.0 specification, Bluetooth Smart (often known as Bluetooth low energy) enables ultra low power connectivity and basic data transfer for applications previously limited by the power consumption, size constraints and complexity of other wireless standards.

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CSR µEnergy silicon chip enables connection to the latest iOS7 mobile devices and Windows 8 PCs using a fraction of the power of standard Bluetooth, enabling market-leading battery life and maintaining the smallest form factor. Touch latency is also minimized to less than 12ms, ensuring seamless visual feedback and user experience.

CSR partnered with Atmel and Conductive Inkjet Technology (CIT) to develop the ultra-thin wireless touch surface. The device uses Atmel’s touch silicon to sense multiple contact points on a surface, and can offer a full touch surface or power optimised key detection. The flexible membrane is enabled by CIT printed conductors. CIT’s reel-to-reel printing process enables copper and other conductors to be applied to the surface of the ultra-thin and flexible membrane, and can be printed to fit a range of tablet shapes and sizes.

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In combination with CSR’s low-power wireless technology, the device can be used to extend the touch interface of tablets and smartphones. Light weight and flexible, the device can be integrated into a protective cover or used to create large touch detectable surfaces on a desktop. With minimal weight and bulk, a full keyboard experience can be added to a tablet without taking up valuable screen area. Thin enough to slip behind the pages of a notebook, it could be also used to pick up handwriting and sketches from the pressure of a modified pen.

“Consumers want innovative, portable wireless accessories that just work with their mobile devices”, said Paul Williamson, Director of Low Power Wireless at CSR. “The ultra-thin touch surface we’ve developed is a perfect example of how Bluetooth Smart can give them just that. We’re committed to working collaboratively with developers using the CSR µEnergy platform to help them bring similar next-generation accessories to the market quickly.”

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