Piezo buttons turn smartphones into gaming controllers
EP&T MagazineElectronics Embedded Systems Engineering buttons controllers haptics piezo
Boréas’ adaptive trigger sensing platform delivers force-sensing, gesture detection, localized HD haptics
Boréas Technologies recognizes that the market for mobile gaming is surging, yet the smartphone controls that gamers use are poor representations of the mechanical buttons and switches used in console-based gameplay. The Bromont QC-based semiconductor firm aims to change that applying its piezo adaptive trigger buttons, an integrated development platform that lets Android smartphone designers turn the phone’s edges into an interactive touch zone for realistic gameplay.
According to analyst firm Newzoo’s most recent Global Games Market Report, 2.8 billion gamers worldwide played on mobile devices in 2021—significantly outpacing gameplay on PCs at 1.4 billion and consoles at 0.9 billion over the same period. And revenues from mobile games are growing rapidly, up from $68.3 billion in 2019 to an estimated $116.4 billion by 2024, according to Newzoo. Despite this growth, the user experience is severely limited by current smartphone technologies.
Adaptive trigger buttons
“It’s time for smartphone gameplay to offer the same satisfying tactile experiences as older technologies such as consoles,” said Stuart Nixdorff, senior vice president, Boréas Technologies. “That’s the sweet spot for our piezo adaptive trigger buttons, a miniature ultra-low-power hardware-software platform that opens smartphones to richer, more satisfying gameplay for the first time. Imagine, for example, using piezo haptic trigger buttons to change the haptic feel of the rifle you’re using in a first-person shooter game, or experiencing context-sensitive vibrations when you open different locks in a puzzle-box game,” Nixdorff continues. “Boréas piezo adaptive trigger buttons opens previously inaccessible real estate on the sides of the phone to more personalized touch-sensing and force-feedback experiences that will delight mobile gamers.”
Piezo adaptive trigger buttons is an ultra-compact hardware platform that leverages Boréas’ ultra-low-power piezoelectric semiconductor and software technology to enable a host of customizable touch experiences for gaming smartphones.