Advances in touch screens promise 1ms input lag instead of 100ms

By on March 13, 2012, 5:30 PM

Microsoft's Applied Sciences Group has released a video which shows the company has been focusing efforts on reducing touch screen input lag. According to Microsoft, most touch-sensitive devices have a response lag between 50 and 100ms. However, their new screen technology reduces that lag to an almost imperceptible 1ms.

For larger touch screens -- like Microsoft's Surface -- input lag can be hugely noticeable. The input delay becomes especially perceptible when drawing or quickly moving objects around with your fingers. This prompted engineers at Microsoft to look into ways of improving this deficiency. 

Although the company doesn't detail the technology's inner workings, the video demonstration they provide gives a good sense of how their research may greatly improve the touch-based user experience.

Paul Dietz, assistant director at Microsoft Applied Sciences, compares 100ms, 50ms, 10ms and 1ms devices by dragging an object around with a single finger. The improvement between 100ms and 10ms is immediately evident while even the 10ms and 1ms demonstrations are fairly substantial. One can definitely get a sense of how "right" the 1ms touch screen feels when compared to its slower counterparts.

Microsoft isn't the only company dabbling with ultra low-latency touch screens, though. Synaptics showed off their own take on a low-latency touch screen device at the Mobile World Congress both last year and this year.

Also, although many would argue styluses are dead, it is hard to deny their usefulness for drawing and writing. Given the very poor input response that most stylus devices seem to suffer, such advances may prove especially useful for stylus users.




User Comments: 15

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Guest said:

Not trying to be a buzzkill here, but imho the most important thing with smartphones right now is better batterylife.

Guest said:

Maybe this isn't only for your smartphone, maybe it's for Computers in general since more and more items are leaning towards touchscreen interaction?

vlad4861 said:

That's true...I would prob go back to video gaming if I could use an iPad as a joystick

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest said:

Not trying to be a buzzkill here, but imho the most important thing with smartphones right now is better batterylife.

I'd say 95% of Android users would disagree.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest said:

Maybe this isn't only for your smartphone, maybe it's for Computers in general since more and more items are leaning towards touchscreen interaction?

Yep. Later in this Century most likely we will move away from touchscreens have have holographic tech, example Ironman when he is building his suit etc...

Bit late, 1am so wont go in detail.

Guest said:

i agree with 1st post, why are batteries getting ignored

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

lawfer said:

Guest said:

Not trying to be a buzzkill here, but imho the most important thing with smartphones right now is better batterylife.

I'd say 95% of Android users would disagree.

+1 lawfer, no matter which droid I've tried it always suffer from stuttering/lag (or even mysterious reboots/crashes) at some point (including the dual core ones). No wonder so many custom rom chefs ditch Google's CPU rendering and incorporate 100% GPU rendering to speed things up..........

marinkvasina marinkvasina said:

Guest said:

Not trying to be a buzzkill here, but imho the most important thing with smartphones right now is better batterylife.

I'd say 95% of Android users would disagree.

More like 99% , Galaxy 2

Guest said:

Batteries? keh, what about wireless electricity.

Now that would come out handy.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest said:

Batteries? keh, what about wireless electricity.

Now that would come out handy.

Last time that was proposed it didn't turn out so well for Mr. Tesla (i think).

Staff
Jesse Jesse said:

I'm pretty sure the stuttering you guys are talking about is not input lag, you're just looking for a better GPU.

Guest said:

better battery life, +infinity

I'm tired of charging my phone every single day! ...and I don't use it heavily; yes, wifi is always on (using wifi calling/texting), gps is always on, screen is set to bright...but if i didn't have these things on than WTF is the point of having a smart phone!?

EXCellR8 EXCellR8, The Conservative, said:

Yea tesla tried that... wireless power towers. Was not successful.

The main reason i bought the smartphone i did was because of the larger capacity batt. There was no way i was going to buy anything that i had to charge every 12 hours or so. It's 2012 there should be batteries that last a few days standard on all wireless devices.

jackal2687 said:

Somebody has been watching the show with the guy with large hair.

Guest said:

On topic: This is freaking great.

On my PSP at least, even with a new battery, playing a game on the brightest setting meant I had to recharge daily.

The problem is that there's only so many amps that a lithium battery can hold, and that LCD screens tend to burn through them extremely fast. If you turned off your GPS/wifi/airplanemode and set your screen to the lowest visible brightness setting, you'd see a gigantic increase in battery life. Also remember that the single battery life claims are usually in cases where they don't push the system, as in, sitting on the home screen. Occasionally, if the numbers are good, they'll post the number of hours in-call, which is usually 2-4, or 5 for very large batteries. Remember the better your reception, the less power is being used to transmit, and the more battery life you have.

Face the music, cheapen up your power usage, or buy more power such as batteries and portable rechargers.

tl;dr the reality is that your battery has limits and your device is a power hog because of all the other features you bought it for. Buy extra batteries or a solar recharger.

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