Pressure-sensitive displays seem to be all the rage nowadays. First made available on the Huawei Mate S (mere days before the new iPhones with 3D Touch were unveiled), it’s currently the only Android smartphone that has the technology. However, thanks to Synaptics, more Android devices could be equipped with a pressure-sensitive screen next year.
Dubbed ClearPad 3700, it is a force-sensing touchscreen controller from Synaptics. As it turns out, the Xiaomi Mi 4c is already using this controller. The SideTouch technology of the ClearPad 3700 is what makes the Edge Tap feature work on the device, although the Mi 4c’s display doesn’t have any pressure-sensitive features.
If pressure-sensitive displays are widely adopted by manufacturers in the coming months, there’s a good chance Google will officially support it in the next iteration of Android. After all, the prevalence of fingerprint sensors on Android devices eventually led to the implementation of a standardised fingerprint sensor API on Android 6.0 Marshmallow.
As for now, Synaptics didn’t mention any specific manufacturer that is looking to implement pressure-sensitive displays. However, the company did say that “industry leading brands” are looking into it. It will be interesting to see how manufacturers will take advantage of the new technology.