Sensel reveals ‘extraordinary’ R&D behind Lenovo haptics

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Haptics tech company Sensel has lifted the lid on the development of the touchpad for Lenovo’s second-generation ThinkPad Z13 and Z16 laptops.

Sensel collaborated with the tech giant on the haptics for the new laptops, which it said “required extraordinary research and development to meet several engineering milestones.”

These engineering advancements included the use of high-fidelity, programmable haptics solution, which allowed Lenovo to integrate three virtual haptic buttons into the upper portion of the touchpads.

They also included the development of a proprietary machine-learning algorithm for palm rejection, which can distinguish fingers, thumbs, and palms, on hands of all shapes and sizes.

The machine-learning component even allows the touchpad too learns from an individual's behavior, and automatically adapts to better interpret their intent, “dynamically adjusting the palm rejection, tracking zone, tap rejection, and haptic click areas.”

"In a major milestone for Sensel, these are the first true all-Sensel technology touchpads we've shipped, with Sensel providing the touch-sensing, force-sensing, and haptics for the Z13 and Z16", said Sensel CEO and co-founder, Ilya Rosenberg.

"The second-generation ThinkPad Z13 and Z16 are the latest Lenovo laptops featuring a Sensel touchpad, but not the first, showing a committed, durable partnership between the two companies," said Luis Hernandez, vice president of commercial product solutions development, in Lenovo’s intelligent devices group.