Saturday, May 26, 2007

Tactile feedback comes to portable touchscreens

Haptic feedback coming to a laptop near you ...

"Immersion Corp has extended its TouchSense tactile feedback system to portable devices, providing confirming tactile response to user touchscreen interactions

The technology can be licensed by OEMs and system integrators and embedded into handheld electronics, such as personal navigation devices, remote controls, portable games, media players, test equipment, and mobile data terminals. 'Because of their intuitive operation, software flexibility, and space and cost savings, touchscreens have been steadily gaining favour over keypads', says Mark Belinsky, Vice President and General Manager of Immersion's Mobility and Gaming group.

'And though touchscreens offer many benefits, the loss of tactile feedback when a user makes an onscreen selection can create usability problems'.

'TouchSense technology helps solve these problems and supplies a new and unique feature that people like - and a powerful differentiator'.

Comprising circuit and mechanical specifications, firmware, APIs and vibration, or tactile 'effect' libraries, TouchSense technology provides high-speed control over a small electromechanical actuator, like those in mobile phones.

Using the TouchSense API, the portable device's software application is programmed to respond to touch input by making calls to the TouchSense executable, running in the background on the host processor.

The executable generates signals through the Immersion-specified drive circuit, which controls the vibrations of the actuator, mounted to the side or rear of the device's display.

These finely tuned vibrations create sensations that can feel to the user like a button press or release.

Tactile feedback provides unmistakable confirmation for the user."    (Continued via Immersion)    [Usability Resources]


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