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Touch screen Feedback Demo in Apple iPhone and iPads—Points at Future in Haptic Feedback Technology

The people at Nokia and Apple were expected to provide genuine haptic feedback technologies to devices such as the iPad and iPhone that would allow feedback on the touch screen, which can be perceived by the sense of touch and also can emulate the real sensation of variable surfaces and buttons. A demonstration from Senseg displays Apple’s iPhone4 and iPad working with Senseg E-Sense which is a new type of feedback technology. Senseg E-Sense has used electrical charges and the feel of a touch screen has completely changed. It is highly possible that iPhone makers are seriously considering localized haptics to use in their yet-to-be released, new-generation iDevices because the demo was shown on an unconcealed iPad. Now first-timers are probably wondering what exactly “tactile feedback” and “localized haptics” mean. The word “haptic” originated from the Greek word “haptikos” which means something pertaining to the sensation of touch. It originated from “haptesthai”, the Greek verb which means to “touch” or “contact”.

Tactile feedback is a term that is used in describing any sensation which is touch-based. In the world of unlocked smartphones the term has a range of descriptions, from the way a cell phone vibrates to show that a key is depressed to the way a finger presses to click a button. Often “tactile feedback” is replaced by the word “haptic feedback” as they are interchangeable words. However, the future lies in “localized feedback”. Handsets which have genuine haptic feedback technology installed in them would not simply vibrate when someone presses a key. Vibration feedback technology, though useful to some extent, is crude and a mere compromise till the grand entry of localized haptics is witnessed. With the advent of gen-next haptic technology touch screen would be able to create variable sensations when a user touches the display surface. The changes would be localized, restricted to the area under the direct touch of the finger.

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