We don’t ask very much from the systems controlling touch input on our smartphones. They need to be low-latency and accurate – beyond that, it’s up to the processor to make sense of those inputs, and the GPU to display any appropriate output on-screen. But so long as touch controllers hit those two notes, we’re good to go. Unfortunately, it looks like the latest iPhones may not be quite as accurate with recording touches as they could be, at least according to the research done by OptoFidelity.
The company used an automated system to test touchscreen accuracy, employing a computer-controlled robot to tap points all over the display’s surface, and software on the phone reporting back just where the touches were registered.
See that chart up top? Each of those circles represents a test point. Green means that the input was registered within one millimeter in any direction of where it should be; red indicates larger errors. As you can see, both the iPhone 5S and 5C only demonstrate high accuracy touch input on certain central regions of the screen. To help convince us both that this testing system isn’t inherently flawed, and that other smartphones are capable of much more precise touch input sensing, the Galaxy S III on the right shows near edge-to-edge accuracy.
Of course, maybe you can’t even notice inaccuracies on the scale we’re talking about. What’s a millimeter or two between friends? Have any of you new iPhone owners experienced any problems along this line, or do you think this whole test is making a stink about a non-issue?