You press your fingertips on the screen of your smartphone at least dozens of times every day, but if you are one of the few people who owns a Windows smartphone, pretty soon your phone may be able to reciprocate your touch. A Microsoft researcher is reportedly applying so-called haptics to add tactile sensations to touch screens to provide instant feedback to users’ touch. Whether to assist faster typing or guide the visually impaired, haptic feedback could potentially open up ways we interact with our digital gadgets.
On the heels of the launch of Leap Motion, touch screen and gesture controls have officially entered the digital fray. A new sensor called Haptix is the latest contender in the field, and it claims to be a multitouch control system for your television or computer that enables any surface to act as the controller. Unlike Leap, though, Haptix doesn’t rely on infrared technology, which means that it can be employed in all lighting conditions and even on reflective surfaces. The ultimate goal of Haptix is to kill the mouse, so to speak, and allow users to scroll, swipe, zoom, and select items through the converted surface. In addition, Haptix wants to provide tactile feedback to allow users to view their fingers on screen. Before it reaches mass adoption, though, it first needs to meet its $100,000 goal on Kickstarter – lofty goals for lofty ideas.
Tactus Technology unveils touchscreen prototype with appearing and disappearing keys