Haptics in the iPhone

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jswan

New Member
Mar 20, 2007
19
0
0
#1
For those who haven't heard of haptic technology, it's the technology that allows our digital devices to communicate with us via touch--like when your cell phone or your force-feedback controller vibrates. There was a recent article in the Economist about it. I'll quote:

"The SCH-W559 handset, which is so far available only in China, fools the user's sense of touch and mimics the feeling of pressing a mechanical button, even though the surface is actually completely flat."

"The new phone goes much further, using very precise actuations of its built-in motors to produce realistic, button-like clicks whenever an onscreen button is pressed. “Using a touch-screen, you normally lose the tactile confirmation you get from pressing a button,” says Mr Viegas. But with haptic feedback, on-screen buttons can be made to feel real and are easier to use. “You get the feeling that you have somehow really touched this object on the screen,” says Tapani Ryhänen, head of strategic research at Nokia, the world's biggest handset-maker, who has been investigating the idea of adding haptics to Nokia's phones as well."

"Most of today's haptic devices rely on motors that either prod or vibrate the skin, but a new technology is emerging that is an even more flexible and effective means of stimulating the sense of touch: skin stretch. [...] In one dramatic example Mexican and Italian researchers showed that a flat surface could be made to feel sharp. The effect was so realistic that subjects were able to match different configurations of simulated sharp edges to corresponding images, says Gabriel Robles-De-La-Torre, a neuroscientist and computer engineer based in Mexico City who carried out the experiment and is the founder of the International Society for Haptics."

(all quotes are from http://economist.com/science/tq/displaystory.cfm?story_id=E1_RSGGTTG but you need to be a subscriber to get in.)

Now... obviously, this technology probably isn't in the iPhone right now. But does anyone else think this would make the iPhone even more amazing? Imagine being able to feel every icon on the screen.

Maybe in the second generation...
 

khunlyon

New Member
Bronze
Apr 2, 2007
42
0
0
#2
For those who haven't heard of haptic technology, it's the technology that allows our digital devices to communicate with us via touch--like when your cell phone or your force-feedback controller vibrates. There was a recent article in the Economist about it. I'll quote:

"The SCH-W559 handset, which is so far available only in China, fools the user's sense of touch and mimics the feeling of pressing a mechanical button, even though the surface is actually completely flat."

"The new phone goes much further, using very precise actuations of its built-in motors to produce realistic, button-like clicks whenever an onscreen button is pressed. “Using a touch-screen, you normally lose the tactile confirmation you get from pressing a button,” says Mr Viegas. But with haptic feedback, on-screen buttons can be made to feel real and are easier to use. “You get the feeling that you have somehow really touched this object on the screen,” says Tapani Ryhänen, head of strategic research at Nokia, the world's biggest handset-maker, who has been investigating the idea of adding haptics to Nokia's phones as well."

"Most of today's haptic devices rely on motors that either prod or vibrate the skin, but a new technology is emerging that is an even more flexible and effective means of stimulating the sense of touch: skin stretch. [...] In one dramatic example Mexican and Italian researchers showed that a flat surface could be made to feel sharp. The effect was so realistic that subjects were able to match different configurations of simulated sharp edges to corresponding images, says Gabriel Robles-De-La-Torre, a neuroscientist and computer engineer based in Mexico City who carried out the experiment and is the founder of the International Society for Haptics."

(all quotes are from http://economist.com/science/tq/displaystory.cfm?story_id=E1_RSGGTTG but you need to be a subscriber to get in.)

Now... obviously, this technology probably isn't in the iPhone right now. But does anyone else think this would make the iPhone even more amazing? Imagine being able to feel every icon on the screen.

Maybe in the second generation...
I was actually thinking about this, especially for use with the QWERTY keyboard. I have a friend who has a navigation screen in his car with similar technology. With his, however, it almost feels like an electric shock or something that simulates the feeling of pushing a button - i guess it all depends on how it was implimented. I wouldn't be surprised if they found a way to incorperate this into the iPhone at some point. Do you know how much space the motors take up though? it seems like it would force the phone to be thicker.
 

Kabeyun

Member
Silver
Jan 10, 2007
665
0
16
Northeast US
#4
T'would definitely up the coolness factor. Samsung's vibrating approach would probably hurt battery life, which is already an iPhone concern. Impressions of iPhone typing, such as they are, are mixed, so we'll see if it's enough of an issue for Apple to consider haptics.

fwiw, the cNet editors didn't find the Samsung phone's feedback too helpful. Looks like we'll have to wait for icons you can feel! :cool:

-K