Skip to main content

Recent patent could reveal Samsung’s implementation of force touch technology

samsung force touch patent smartphone pressure display shutterstock 234006694 crop
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Now that Apple has introduced 3D Touch on the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, it’s Samsung’s turn to match or better. It has already been reported that Samsung will most likely implement something similar in next year’s Galaxy S7, and a new patent might reveal what Samsung is planning.

Samsung actually filed for this patent (10-2015-0117120) in April 2014, but the Korean Intellectual Property Office just made it public. It’s titled, “Touch Input Apparatus and Electronic Device Having Thereof” and it seems to deal with either a keyboard on a mobile display or an attachable cover for both smartphones and tablets.

In a nutshell, each key on the keyboard will decipher the force of touch to determine the output. For example, when pressing the “a” key lightly, the output might be the lowercase “a,” but the uppercase “A” could be chosen by a harder touch. The same force of touches could also be used to decipher between special characters as well.

Samsung’s implementation uses voltage to detect the pressure applied. The drawings indicate that the keyboard will alter input based on 1.5V and 3.0V. Samsung also later translates this into grams by saying that 1.5v is the equivalent of 80g and 3V is the equivalent of 35g of pressure.

What’s most interesting about the patent is that Samsung plans to implement this technology on both an onscreen keyboard as well as on a separate accessory with actual hard keys. This separate accessory appears to be a flip-style cover with a built-in keyboard. Samsung could also add this feature to something very similar to the keyboard case that debuted with the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus.

It seems like an obvious assumption that this new tech will wind up on the Galaxy S7. However, if Samsung does bring force touch features to the S7, it’s likely to go well beyond the keyboard and be a feature throughout the entire user interface. Of course, this patent could be part of the picture or not included at all, since patents don’t always come to fruition.

We will be keeping an eye on this one and will report on any new developments as they arise.

Robert Nazarian
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Robert Nazarian became a technology enthusiast when his parents bought him a Radio Shack TRS-80 Color. Now his biggest…
Is the Samsung Galaxy S23 still worth it 10 months later?
Samsung Galaxy S23 in cream standing next to a Trader Sam's christmas yule tiki mug.

It’s crazy to think that 2023 will be wrapping up in just a few weeks from now, and a new year will be upon us faster than we think. One of the first major flagship phones that came out in 2023 was the Samsung Galaxy S23, which launched in February alongside its Galaxy S23 Plus and Galaxy S23 Ultra siblings.

I gave the Samsung Galaxy S23 a positive review when it first came out, but there have been a lot of new flagship phones from competitors since then. Samsung is also expected to reveal its successor, the Galaxy S24 lineup, early in 2024.

Read more
You need to hear the crazy origin story behind this Samsung phone
Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Mint Green color along with a coaster and leaf in the front.

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Tushar Mehta / Digital Trends

Samsung has a new Galaxy S23 model out, and it’s called the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE. It’s a slightly watered-down version of the regular Galaxy S23 with a lower price tag to match, but why is it called an “FE”?

Read more
There’s a big problem with Samsung’s new Android tablets
The back of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra.

“Android tablets are a lost cause.” I come across this recurring theme more often than I would like, but there’s some truth to it. As someone who pushes Android tablets as a daily workhorse, I’ve defended on numerous occasions how the ecosystem has matured over the past few years after Android 12L and foldable arrived on the scene.

But compared to the iPad, Android tablets keep falling short. With every brand trying to create its own unique software flavor for tablets that vary dramatically in terms of firepower, no two Android tablets seem to offer a uniform experience. iPads, on the other hand, do deliver experience uniformity irrespective of the screen size.

Read more