Microsoft Aiming for Touchscreens with 1ms Delay

Microsoft Research published a video of what it calls a High Performance Touch system which could potentially cut the delay between when a finger moves and the display responds down to 1ms.

Two Microsoft researchers, Albert Ng and Paul Dietz, put together a number of tests to show how cutting latency to a minimum can improve overall touch performance, showing how going from 100ms down to 1ms can change the user experience.

Capacitive monitors interpret the current flowing through our skin as an active component and trace its signal across the panel.

Because most of these panels have a layer that holds electrical charge, touching this layer makes the amount of charge to change at the point of contact. When pressure is released, the charge returns to its normal level and so on.

Every move a user's finger makes is sent to the processing unit, which interpretes it and then returns as a change in the display. The problem is that these moves require time which means that most devices have a perceptible screen delay of around 100ms.

Microsoft has not confirmed whether or not the technology will be implemented in any hardware in a near future but we wouldn't be surprised if this high performance touch systems surfaces on Surface or tightly integrated with Windows 8 (or its successor) to improve touchscreen performance.