Fujifilm to make bigger, cheaper touchscreens with silver

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Lexy spent her formative years taking a lot of photos and dreaming in technicolour. Nothing much has changed now she's covering all things photography related for CNET.

Using its know-how from the days of film, Fujifilm is working on touchscreens made with silver halide. They promise to be cheaper and bigger, to support the burgeoning touch market.

(135 fuji film macro image by Andrew Hutton, CC BY-SA 2.5)

Silver halide is a compound that is used in the production of film and photographic paper, thanks to its light-sensitive properties when combined with other elements.

According to a report by Bloomberg, the industry is looking for a replacement of indium tin oxide (ITO), which is commonly used in touch panels. With a sharp uptick in companies putting touchscreens in devices such as ultrabooks and tablets, a cheaper touch technology is very desirable.

Fujifilm uses silver halide in the creation of sensor meshes. These grids help to detect touch and are almost invisible, said Keiji Uchiyama from Fujifilm.

The current ITO technology is brittle, which makes screens break easily. Silver halide or metal screens are much more flexible.

Fujifilm's diversification into touch panels comes in the wake of ending production of many traditional film-based products, such as specialist Velvia films and the consumer-oriented APS format.

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