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(Or "trackpad") A stationary pointing device used mainly on laptop computers. Touchpads provide a small, flat surface that you slide your finger over using the same movements as you would a mouse. They were originally developed to provide a more natural and intuitive connection for the computer user than the mouse.

Touchpads use a principle called coupling capacitance, and requires a conductive pointer such as a finger. They contain a two-layer grid of electrodes which are connected to an integrated circuit (IC) mounted under the pad. The upper layer contains vertical electrode strips while the lower layer is composed of horizontal electrode strips. Capacitance from each of the horizontal electrodes to each of the vertical electrodes is measured by the IC. A finger near the intersection of two electrodes modifies the capacitance between them, since a finger has very different dielectric properties than air. The position of the finger is precisely determined based on these changes at various locations.

According to one correspondent, you can use any part of your body, which is not surprising, but not a McDonalds Chicken McCrispy. You can use reheated Pizza Hut Christmas Pizza though.



(1) See HP TouchPad.

(2) The built-in pointing device on all laptop and netbook computers. Also called a "trackpad," the touchpad provides a small, flat surface to slide one's finger over. Residing below most touchpads, two physical buttons emulate the left and right mouse buttons; however, the touchpad surface can often be tapped as a substitute for pressing the left button. In addition, either the entire touchpad area or only one side of the surface may be used to emulate the mouse's scroll wheel.

Multitouch Touchpads
Popularized by Apple's Magic Trackpad, newer multitouch devices accept gestures from two or more fingers to activate common functions such as scrolling, next page, previous page and zoom. See mouse, trackball, pointing stick and Magic Trackpad.

The touchpad became standard on laptops, but external units for desktop computers are also available (see Magic Trackpad).
References in periodicals archive ?
When the icon begins to wiggle, swipe across the touch pad until you get to the spot you want.
Developer Adam Bell decided to put the Touch Pad through the Doom test.
STK Accessories, a pioneer in the wide range of mobile phone and computing accessories brings in the vision of futuristic utopia with its latest "Apple Certified Q Touch Case & WI Wireless Technology Q Touch Pad.
The problem is, as many commuters claim, that can be the fault of the touch pad.
Finally, a touch pad has been added, which is a small surface on the face of the controller which gamers can press and swipe, very similar to the touch panel located at the back of the Vita.
The recent increase in the use of touch pad devices such as iPads adds a further complication to our conceptualisation of literacy practices when considering how students read and write with digital, mobile media.
Huertzeler was flummoxed and then recalled the 1996 Atlanta Olympics where, in between two races, there was a glitch and the touch pad had to be replaced.
Targeting mobile devices, Fujitsu Microelectronics' FMA1127 touch sensor controller converts capacitance generated by the human body and conductive touch pad to digital data with no analog processing.
The company said it has replaced its traditional keyboards with the EALTK 548, a compact desktop industrial keyboard with a high resistant membrane and built-in keypad and touch pad.
In a metaphorical sense, the same mysterious electrical fields he manipulated to formulate the touch pad seem to surround him like Magneto in the X-Men movies, only he uses his powers for good, as opposed to triggering cataclysmic disasters.
Other features include a touch pad for managing an XGA connection, brightening or darkening images, switching between a positive and negative image, mirroring or freezing images, controlling the iris and creating split screen images.