Synaptics, purveyor of fine touchpads, recently demonstrated its upcoming “ClickPad,” which is basically a button-less multitouch trackpad that’s “ideal for space constrained netbooks where real estate is at a premium in the palmrest.”
While you can currently tap on just about any Synaptics touchpad to serve as a left-button press, this idea will apparently be used a lot more often with future ClickPad computers.
And though it’s not quite clear how right-clicking will be handled, a page on Synaptics’ web site shows a few common gestures that work on the company’s multitouch pads, such as: two-finger scrolling, two-finger rotate, two-finger pinch zoom, three-finger flick, three-finger down, linear scrolling, something called ChiralScroll, and a side-to-side flick called Momentum. More details and photos here.
The gestures are currently used in already-available touchpads from Synaptics, but the button-less ClickPad won’t be available to OEMs until the third quarter of this year, which means we likely won’t see ClickPad computers until later in the year or early next year. And that’s assuming people are ready to give up their trusty, clicky left and right trackpad buttons.