SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA), a leading developer of human interface solutions for mobile computing, communications and entertainment devices, today confirmed that Synaptics ForcePad™, the next generation of TouchPad™ touch solutions, has been chosen as the hardware technology for the fourth annual User Interface Software & Technology (UIST) Student Innovation Contest (SIC). Originally released to UIST under the codename "Jedeye," Synaptics' ForcePad solution joins three-time hardware supplier Microsoft in supporting the contest. As a multi-finger, capacitive TouchPad with variable force detection and a large "modern touchpad" gesture area, ForcePad promises to redefine the touch interaction experience for notebook and desktop PC users. Ideal for the rapidly growing ultrabook trend, it is up to 40 percent thinner than today's ClickPads™, enabling thinner and lighter ultrabooks. ForcePad is ideal for the fast and fluid Windows 8 touch experience because it adds an exciting new dimension of control to the user's interaction. The acclaimed UIST conference covers a variety of topics including graphical and web user interfaces, tangible and ubiquitous computing, virtual and augmented reality and multimedia supported by new input and output devices. Teams of one to four students are given hardware kits for six weeks to develop new implementations for the next-generation TouchPad. With final presentations planned during the UIST Conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts from October 7-10, contestants are vying for cash awards in the "Most Creative", "Most Useful", and "People's Choice" categories. "We're delighted to be working with Synaptics, an industry leader in human interface technology," said Rob Miller, general chair of the ACM UIST 2012 conference and professor of computer science at MIT. "Synaptics has given generous support to this year's UIST Student Innovation Contest, including the use of its technology. Synaptics understands that today's students will invent tomorrow's great ideas." "ForcePad is the most significant development in touch technology since Synaptics invented the first TouchPad in 1995. We believe ForcePad delivers the world's best touch experience, opening up a new array of exciting usage models," said Godfrey Cheng, vice president of marketing for Synaptics PC Division. "UIST is an exemplary organization dedicated to expanding human interaction models, which makes them a perfect partner to advance new technologies based on ForcePad." ForcePad adds a new dimension of control utilizing capacitive image sensing technology that detects the pressure of five fingers with up to 1,000 grams of dynamic range in force sensitivity. The ability to detect varying amounts of pressure per finger enables new usage paradigms in virtually every software genre, making ForcePad a great tool for the UIST Student Innovation Contest.