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What is Lenovo’s WASD Force Sensor Technology?

Curious about how Lenovo's WASD Force Sensor Technology works? We have the answers for you here.

Updated: May 23, 2022 8:36 am
WASD force sensor technology

AMD just finished its opening keynote at Computex 2022 and there were some really impressive laptop and desktop technologies announced, alongside the AMD Ryzen 7000 series processors and the new AMD AM5 chipset standard. Additionally, Frank Azor, the Chief architect of the gaming solutions and marketing branch of AMD, announced the Lenovo Legion 7 AMD Advantage laptop, featuring the WASD Force Sensor Technology built-in, but what exactly is WASD Force Sensor Technology? Don’t worry, dear reader, we’ll explain.

How does WASD Force Sensor Technology work?

Traditionally, keyboards work digitally, like binary. The system detects the key as either pressed or not pressed, with no in-between. This is one of the reasons why keyboards and mice are still the preferred input method for Pro gamers as it allows for the most rapid actions and inputs.

However, it’s still limited as it allows no variance or granularity. For example, when accelerating a car using a traditional keyboard, it’s either full-throttle or nothing at all. This produces obvious limitations in terms of control, which is one of the reasons why controllers continue to be the choice method for controlling racing games.

Recently, keyboard manufacturers such as Razer and Steelseries have begun to introduce analog key switch options for their keyboards, these measure the hope far the key is pressed, and scale that to the intensity of the input. Using the car example again means that pressing the key halfway down, will hold the car at a steady speed, neither braking nor accelerating. This is a similar concept to the WASD Force Sensor Technology announced by Lenovo today. However, it differs slightly, presumably due to the inherent limitations of a laptop keyboard.

Lenovo’s WASD Force Sensor Technology works slightly differently, instead of measuring the distance the key has traveled like a traditional analog keyboard, it uses force sensors to measure how hard the switch is being pressed, and uses this metric to scale the intensity of the input, instead of distance. This is because laptop key switches have so much less pre-travel and total travel, that using the distance to define intensity wouldn’t work because the user would have to be incredibly precise due to the short distances involved.

Lenovo Legion 7 AMD Advantage laptop with WASD Force Sensor Technology release date

Luckily, it won’t be too long until you can get your hands on these exciting new inputs as WASD Force Sensor Technology is launching with the Lenovo Legion 7 AMD Advantage laptop, featuring the all-new Mendocino chip, beginning in June 2022.

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