This touchpad could change the way we interact with laptops

sensel-morph-thumbYou may not need to buy a new Apple product to be able to use Force Touch-like technology with your devices.

A new gadget called the Sensel Morph promises to bring similar pressure-sensitive capabilities to PCs and tablets with its tablet-sized touchpad.

A touchpad measuring about 9 x 5 inches, the Sensel Morph is compatible with PCs (Windows and Mac) and iPads. When paired with a device, the Morph is able to act as the primary input method for that device, bringing its pressure sensitive capabilities with it. The use case can vary widely, but the device has already drawn many comparisons to Apple’s Force Touchtechnology, which changes the way you interact with apps based on the level of pressure you apply to a trackpad or touchscreen.

Where Sensel’s touchpad has potential to stand out is the sheer number of sensors embedded in the tablet-sized device. The Morph has “approximately 20,000 individual sensor elements,” according to the company, which is what enables the device’s extreme pressure sensitivity.

“It can detect anything from a feather-light tap to a hard push and everything in between (with over 4,000 detectable voltage levels),” the company says.

Particularly intriguing are the device’s accompanying “overlay” accessories — magnetic covers that snap onto to the Morph to transform it into task specific tools like a piano, music production board, game controller or QWERTY keyboard. >more