Canopy updates the Sensus touch controller

GDC 2014: Capacitive to resistive, in this case a good idea

Canopy logoLast year at GDC Canopy released the Sensus touch case for the iPhone, this year it is new and updated. The biggest change is the touch controller technology, and what might seem like a regression is really an advance.

The new Sensus is very similar to the old one in that it is a rear and side touch controller that looks like an iPhone case. The biggest change this year is the new revision moves from a capacitive touch sensor to a resistive one. In laptops and tablets that is normally a really bad idea, resistive touch devices are usually far worse than their cap touch counterparts. In this case, pun intended, the change has not affected function, it has just added features.

Nee Canopy Sensus case

The new look of Canopy Sensus

Going to resistive sensors had one big effect, the Sensus now can track pressure. As you can see in the picture above, the 10 point controller tracks X and Y positions plus pressure. The positions are shown as numerical coordinates, pressure as a bar outside the circle. When SemiAccurate tried the Sensus at GDC it displayed none of the drawbacks of a cheap phone/tablet resistive sensor, this one tracked fast and correctly.

The other change is a bit more obvious, after a year the software base has caught up to the Sensus. There are now full dev kits available and retail units are on track for release in a few months, and there are a lot of interesting demo apps like camera functions from the edge sensor. If all goes well you should be able to pick one up for about twice what a decent iPhone case costs, around $80 which isn’t bad for a form-fitting game controller.S|A

[Editor’s note:  I’ll buy you lunch at Kramarczuk’s in exchange for one of these that works with my Android phone.]

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also a council member with Gerson Lehman Group. FullyAccurate