Microsoft is believed to be in the advanced stages of coming up with a new touch technology that could change the way we interact with smartphones. Its Pre-Touch technology that is being referred to here and gets into the act even before the user has actually made contact with the display.

The entire technology is based on self-capacitive touchscreen that can pick up on finger movements as it approaches to touch the display. In fact, the entire setup is also able to detect how the smartphone (or for that matter any other touchscreen based device) is being held and can also adapt its response whether it is the right or left hand that is being used to hold the phone. That is not all as the tech also allows for multiple touch responses as well.

For instance, if the user is holding the phone with one hand watching a video and the user attempts to touch the display, the standard video controls will appear on the display even before the user has actually made contact with the display. This way, the user gets to make appropriate response like pausing or rewind/fast forwarding the video with just a single tap. The same right now require two consecutive taps, one to invoke the controls and the other for making the appropriate response.

The feature can also be considered intelligent in that it can adapt itself according to which hand is used to make the contact. For instance, the video controls will appear at a different spot when the user attempts to touch the control with the same hand that is also holding the phone itself than when the user makes use of the other hand.

Microsoft also demoed how the pre-touch tech can prove to be handy while web browsing as well. It’s like approaching the display with one hand will reveal the hyperlinks while doing the same with multiple fingers will reveal the navigation controls. Also, touching in a slow motion can serve to highlight a text while doing the same in a rapid move will be picked up as a flick.

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Microsoft’s pre-touch efforts are however still being fine-tuned and could well accompany the much touted Surface Phone due out in April, 2017. The feature is also bound to draw parallel with Samsung’s Air View controls that allows for a similar control though via its stylus.

Also worth mentioning is Apple’s 3D Touch feature that was launched last year and involves touches of varying intensities to invoke a particular action. However, Microsoft’s tech can be considered a step ahead as it kicks in even before the user has actually made contact with the touchscreen display.


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