FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Monday, July 18, 2005

Touchscreens That "Touch Back"

Touch pads for kiosks and other electronic devices have many advantages and are becoming more common. However, as two-dimensional surfaces, they lack the haptic confirming feedback that comes with a more mechanical interface such as a traditional keyboard. When we press a button, we can feel it press in, a physical response that makes the device easier and more satisfying to use.

San Jose-based Immersion Corporation has developed tactile touchscreens that simulate the feel of a button depressing, a lever moving or a scroll wheel scrolling.

In a similar vein, the TactaPad allows a user to draw and move objects with his/her fingers, "feeling" the objects along the way.

The USB-compatible TactaPad, developed by Tactiva (also based in San Jose) is not yet available for purchase. Plans are to develop versions for both Windows and Mac OS, which would market for about $1,000.

Source: Future Feeder