Not wanting to let Apple have all the multi-touch fun, Synaptics has taken touch input up a gear, demonstrating a new four-point, multi-touch capable touchpad. As well as picking up four-fingers, the new pads will also be able to recognise when your palm touches the pad accidentally and know to ignore it.
In conjunction to this the company has also improved its buttonless ClickPad design that debuted this time last year by giving it a "hinge-less uniform force, uniform click depth" operation. In other words, it's created an equivalent of the touchpad used on the latest Apple MacBooks. If you press one area, the whole thing depresses. In contrast, the original ClickPad simple had two conventional buttons incorporated into the bottom edge of the touchpad surface.
Synaptics was showing off a demo model implenting both technologies built into an HP Envy, which is the only laptop we've seen to also feature an original ClickPad. Being as the Envy is a clear shot at the MacBook, the fact that it's the first model to sport this new style touchpad is rather amusing but we won't dwell on this point. The important thing is that it works superbaly well.
The touchpad itself is really responsive and feels great (something that's helped by the surface HP has used) and the click works as well as you could hope. Press anywhere on the surface and you get a nice positive click from the pad. There's no wobble, delay from pressing your finger to activating the button, or any other such annoyances. it just works. Likewise, the four-finger multi-touch gestures worked really well, allowing you to switch between Windows with the swipe of a hand for instance. All we need now is for laptops to start shipping with the tech, and we don't know when that might be, though given the demo model looked pretty complete, it probably won't be too long.
In other news, synpatics has also released a new version of its, Scrybe, gesture recognition technology. So as well as the default multi-touch gestures you can also specify your own. For instance, a circle for refreshing a webpage, or an F for opening firefox. The new version of Scrybe is free and compatible with any Synaptics touchpad.