Between the successes of iOS and Android devices of all sizes as well as Microsoft's bold changes introduced in Windows 8, there's little doubt that the touchscreen is the interface of the moment. As such, manufacturers are looking to find ways to produce cheaper and larger touchscreens, and Fujifilm might have found a way to put its photographic experience to use in this pursuit.
According to Bloomberg, Fujifilm is developing a process for touchscreen manufacturing that doesn't rely on the hard-to-find indium tin oxide material (ITO) for sensors — instead, it's using a material called silver halide to create a touchscreen sensor mesh. As those who took photos before the digital age known, silver halide is a key component in photographic film and paper — it seems Fuji has found a new use for its old components.
silver halide is a key component in photographic film and paper
Despite the innovative take on the technology, it seems Fujifilm's new touch sensor isn't appearing in any new products imminently. Microsoft spokespeople declined to discuss its suppliers with Bloomberg, nor is Fujifilm listed as a Microsoft supply chain partner. Still, there's definitely a trend of manufacturers looking to move away from ITO components — time will tell if Fujifilm's new process will help facilitate the shift.