It's not enough for screens display words and pictures anymore; now they can respond to touch, and thanks to a new development from Sharp, scan documents as well. (view large image)A new LDC includes the ability to not only be a touchscreen, but also has an optical sensor is built into each pixel. This takes away the need to bond a film to the panel for touchscreen functions, but also opens the door for more than just simple taps on the screen to be recognized.The technology reduces the need for films, making for better screen clarity. It also responds to multi-touch scenarios, enabling more complex interactive actions. The optical sensor that is embedded into each pixel of the LDC panel also allows for scanning of documents and fingerprint recognition with fewer components.The first generation of this technology will be a 3.5 inch screen that has a 320 by 480 pixel (HVGA) resolution. Sample shipments of Sharp's LCD will begin this month, with volume production slated to start next spring. No devices have yet been named that would take advantage of this technology at this time.More information is available on Sharp's web site.