Throw away products with touchpads may be possible
The touchpad has become ubiquitous over the years and can be found on the palm rest of just about every notebook on the market. The touchpad is also being used in other devices as well and just about anyone can walk up to a touchpad and understand how to use it. One factor that has kept the touchpad from coming to cheap disposable devices is cost. A group of researchers believes they have tackled that issue though with the cheap paper-based touchpad that can be thrown away.
The touchpad is made from a metalized paper is coded in aluminum and a transparent polymer. The paper is able to function as a capacitor and a laser can be used to cut multiple capacitors from one sheet of paper. Since the paper acts as a capacitor, it can sense when it is touch by noting an increase in capacitance. The team believes that these cheap touchpads will be used for security purposes and have already created a box with an alarm and keypad requiring a code to unlock.