Pandora2: Internal trackpad?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Binky, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. Binky

    Binky Death's Steed Staff Member

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    I don't know how feasible this is technically, but what about replacing the button pads and nub internals of the P1 with a touchpad of sorts (multi touch sensitive)


    People who primarily want a games machine could clip a game controls overlay on and it would function just like the P1


    People who want a pda-palmtop-productivity system could put extra buttons on there for shortcuts, strange characters, reduced modifier-key use. perhaps keys for use as an advanced graphing calculator


    the overlays would stay in place when the lid was closed


    You could even add a backlight or something..
     
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  2. Wrath Of Khan

    Wrath Of Khan Soul soother...

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    A small Trackball positioned where the touchpad would normally be maybe.
     
  3. Binky

    Binky Death's Steed Staff Member

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    You could just use the nubs for that.


    I was suggesting an internal touch panel for increased versatility, not an external one for pointer control. <_<
     
  4. Wrath Of Khan

    Wrath Of Khan Soul soother...

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    Oh ok.But i think full built in gaming controls are a given on the P2.Such a touchpad would then need to be quite wide for it to be practical.I doubt ther would be space.
     
  5. -Tj-

    -Tj- Active Member

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    Interesting idea. Perhaps if the modular nubs (not sure if that's how they were referred to) are used you could just swap out a nub with a small trackpad instead, like one of those thumb-sized small ones.


    You thinking something like the trackpad on the Xperia Play?
     
  6. Binky

    Binky Death's Steed Staff Member

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    I was thinking of a 4"x1" sized panel (roughly)


    It would probably depend on how good controls on top of a touchpad could be, and weather it could be done in the same ways as normal button sensors.
     
  7. -Tj-

    -Tj- Active Member

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    With one capable of multitouch would probably work, though it would really depend on how well the feel of the buttons can be engineered and whether or not that kind of tech is already patented (the button overlays, which it might since there's already such a thing for capacitive screen devices) or how much licensing a patent (if one exists) costs. Then you'd really have to factor in the size of the trackpad hardware and whether any attachments can still fit under the lid when closed, and if the trackpad would have to be recessed to accommodate the attachments. If the trackpad would have to be recessed, ergonomics will probably go out the window.


    This kind of thing would open up a world of possibilities with different kinds of attachments and such, like the possibility of a 6 face button attachment and other alternate layouts.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 13, 2012
  8. Caine

    Caine Hardcore Member

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    The main use of multi-touch seems to be compensation for the lack of physical buttons (does not really apply to the Pandora) and to dick around (we have a lot of software for this already :p ).


    So, why not just a trackpoint instead of a trackpad. It certainly sounds more feasible to me. On the other hand, the nubs already provide similar functionality.


    Which brings to me the following question: exactly which problem are you trying to address and why is a trackpad the proper solution for it?
     
  9. Binky

    Binky Death's Steed Staff Member

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    Problem:


    *People using aP2 as a productivity device might want more buttons as shortcuts, for special characters, or to reduce the requirement for modifier keys (ctrl-alt-fn-1 with two thumbs!?).


    *People using a P2 as a games console obviously want/need gaming controls


    Solution:


    *Replace the button sensors etc under the gaming controls with a touch sensitive panel


    *Game controls press on this panel


    *Game controls could be removed and be replaced with other controls, which would also press on this panel, such as more buttons.
     
  10. -Tj-

    -Tj- Active Member

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    Why not just replace the entire bottom with a touchpad and have all the buttons built in such a manner?
     
  11. Caine

    Caine Hardcore Member

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    So, swappable controls then. It is not the first time that idea has been mentioned. Though I question the accuracy and speed of gaming controls made using such a touch panel. I.e. I'm skeptical about it, but I have never tried so I cannot say for certain.


    I use my Pandora more for productivity than I use it for gaming. As you say, making combinations with two thumbs is hard, so it should become easier to include the other fingers. Personally, I would prefer to see more and higher quality shoulder buttons such that I can have more easy to press modifier keys. Having a better hinge such that tabletop usage is improved would also help.


    In my not so humble opinion, touchscreens/pads are a major detriment to productive computer/device usage.
     
  12. Binky

    Binky Death's Steed Staff Member

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    Err... don't know! :)


    As backlights and transparent touchpanels are readily available for touchscreens, it would make backlighting the keyboard easy too.

    Even when covered by tactile buttons?


    --


    One advantage of this over other control swapping ideas is the the control overlays should be fairly cheap&reliable, due to the lack of electronics and electrical connections involved
     
  13. Caine

    Caine Hardcore Member

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    Hard to tell for sure, but I suspect that a real button will always feel and function better than a simulated one. I don't see a user swapping back and forth between a touchpad and a button overlay on a frequent basis either, so it makes more sense to me to just have the buttons. We still have the regular touchscreen for the occasional touch-interaction.
     
  14. gunrock

    gunrock Member

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    I love the idea of the Pandora as a pocketable Linux machine, but for me, without gaming controls it'd be a waste of time.


    My pandora is basically the machine I've dreamed of (ok, I didn't dream of cracks in the case and a hardly functioning wifi- but nonetheless, it's great).


    A small, powerful linux machine would pique my interest, but the game controls nudged me over. I play PS1 games on it incessantly.
     
  15. Binky

    Binky Death's Steed Staff Member

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    The buttons in the current Pandora simply touch a couple of contacts on the PCB, so the feel could be very similar.


    While the are plenty of people like gunrock, there are also those who simply want a palmtop computer and might be (somewhat) driven away by the apparent game-centricity.


    An underlying touchpanel would please both.
     
  16. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    If you -really- want to strap a touch pad onto a Pandora 2...


    Make the entire top/back surface of the flip screen's case a multi-touch pad. Call it sub-surface.


    Just keep the keyboard, nubs and D-pad controls as they are please - don't mess with perfection.


    You can change the shoulder buttons to actual buttons and double them up to 4 - the big plastic flapper-drives-a-switch things could use an improvement.
     
  17. Binky

    Binky Death's Steed Staff Member

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    Look what I found: :lol:


    [​IMG]


    A touchpad could be made on the surface of the PCB, so no size increase compared to the individual pads currently used
     
  18. Grench

    Grench Forum Addict!

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    That, sir, would no longer be a Pandora.


    The dual analogue sticks is part of what makes a Pandora a Pandora.
     
  19. Binky

    Binky Death's Steed Staff Member

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    My point was that touch-sensitve layers are thin, not that any Pandora should have a finger-swipe trackpad


    How do the sticks work internally? Could they have a roller that presses on a touch layer?
     
  20. -Tj-

    -Tj- Active Member

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    The thinness of the trackpad brings me back to what I said earlier, about it being too thin to be in an ergonomic position. It'd be recessed into the case, against the board, and your thumbs would have to reach over the case to get to it. My concern there is the edge of the case could possibly cause discomfort, though when I try it on my empty case here it doesn't seem that bad.


    I'll put forth another option to you: optical trackpads. I believe this was brought up in other threads before, but they're very small (used on Blackberry phones) and could possibly be stuck either on the case cover next to the screen or under the game buttons or d-pad.
     

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