Force Touch

What Does Force Touch Mean?

Force Touch is a feature promoted by Apple for use in its phone and smartwatch designs. It brings a new kind of functionality to the conventional touchpad and touchscreen, which are standard features in modern mobile devices.


Techopedia Explains Force Touch

The idea behind Force Touch is that touchpad users can apply different amounts of pressure on the screen and the operating system can sense the varying degrees of pressure applied to implement different commands. This brings a whole new dimension to touchpad control, opening doors for a more diverse set of commands based on a more diverse set of gestures. There is speculation that the types of intuitive commands built into Force Touch will be based on the existing command structure of the average device; for instance, a light press is akin to a simple single click, whereas a stronger press corresponds to a right click on a mouse or to some higher-level command.

In terms of engineering, some experts believe that Force Touch is not actually sensing the pressure, but is sensing the screen area of finger contacts to determine the amount of pressure being applied on the screen. However, there are design mockups and other prototypes that include “force sensors” built into a screen design that allows a device to actually sense pressure.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.