<hardware> (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.
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