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Microchip Releases 3D TouchPad

Cabe Atwell

October 22, 2014

2 Min Read
Microchip Releases 3D TouchPad

Microchip Technology Inc. recently released the newest addition to its Human Interface Input Sensing Solutions portfolio -- the 3D TouchPad, the first USB PC peripheral device that couples 3D air gesture technology and 2D multi-touch input technology on a single, plug-and-play device.

The 3D TouchPad adds an entirely new element to the PC user experience, allowing users to navigate their computers in an entirely new way. The TouchPad is based upon Microchip's GestIC= technology that senses user's 3D gestures from up to 10 cm directly above the device. The TouchPad is also highly responsive, as it relies upon Microchip's new touchscreen line driver, MTCH652, and users can navigate their computer using 10 touch points or up to five fingers at once. Navigating a PC will never be the same.


The TouchPad was specifically designed to work seamlessly with Windows 8 to enhance basic functionality and gaming. With the peripheral, users can enhance day-to-day activities, such as navigating MS PowerPoint and Word using 3D swiping gestures, controlling media volume with a circular hand motion, and controlling gaming avatars with a hovering hand motion.

Users can use the TouchPad a number of ways. A graphic design student, for example, may use the TouchPad to draw more efficiently, as it recognizes input from up to five fingers at once. A corporate professional, on the other hand, might use the TouchPad during presentations, as it allows users to change slides with the swipe of a hand, versus having to declare war on the clicker. Gamers can also use the TouchPad to control avatars by hovering above the pad and gently moving one's hand in the direction in which they'd like the avatar to go. And for kickers, users can also access all of the data the TouchPad collects for added security.

The TouchPad works right out of the box. It does not require drivers and connects directly via USB. The pad was designed specifically for Windows 7/8X, and features many tools for developers, including downloadable GUI and SDK/API packages for 2D and 3D app and further OS development.

The 3D TouchPad is available for purchase for $99 on the Microchip website. Free downloadable software is also available.

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About the Author(s)

Cabe Atwell

Cabe is an electrical engineer, machinist, maker, cartoonist, and author with 25 years’ experience. When not designing/building, he creates a steady stream of projects and content in the media world at element14, Hackster.io, MAKE ─ among others. His most recent book is “Essential 555 IC: Design, Configure, and Create Clever Circuits.

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