Canopy makes Sensus, a capacitive touch iPhone case

GDC 2013: The back is now the front, or the other way around

Canopy logoCanopy has an iPhone case with a twist, but this time it is a really useful twist, not just more of the same with a new patina. This new case is called the Sensus and it incorporates a capacitive touch sensor.

The case itself looks like many of the other iThingy cases out there but it has an Apple patented(R)(C)(TM)(P)(B) licensed (C)(R)(TM)(P)(S) connector on the bottom to actually interface with the phone. Instead of a simple battery, this connector transfers actual data from the two capacitive touch panels on the back and top of the phone. It looks like this.

Canopy Sensus capacitive touch iPhone case

A clear case and a white one with Apple filling

As you can see, the sensor basically mirrors the screen area on the bottom and also runs along one side. This gives you the ability to use the back of the phone for input and the top side as shoulder buttons without blocking the screen. Canopy has a full API for the Sensus, but at its most basic level it can just mirror inputs on the back of the screen to the front. If a dev implements the Sensus API fully, it can be a lot more, secondary controllers or more buttons are the obvious choices, use your imagination for more.

The Sensus cases are not out yet, but should be shipping in a few months. At first it will be for the iPhone 4, 4S, and 5, but all the iPads and similar will be out before the end of the year. They should retail for around $60-100 depending on the model. If all Sensus does is mirror the front inputs, it would probably be worth having for many people, but if it takes off, it could be the next big thing.S|A

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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 available through Guidepoint and Mosaic. FullyAccurate