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 A touchscreen that touches back

This story is from the category Display Technology
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Date posted: 17/04/2006

Touchscreens are a great interface method for public interfaces. Durable and long-lasting, they can survive significant punishment, as the general public tries their best to destroy them. Used in an increasing number of public information areas, they suffer from one fatal drawback ? the user never knows if they have pushed the on screen button or not, especially if the software is sluggish to respond.

Immersion Corporation believes they have solved the problem, with theirt tactile feedback technology ? part of the haptics sphere, tactile feedback delivers texture.

"Tactile response solves the problem of software latency, where the user is left waiting and wondering if their input actually registered," said Mike Levin, vice president and general manager with Immersion Corp. "Our system can provide a nearly instantaneous and unmistakable tactile response to the user."

The display works through a series of electromagnetic actuators, sitting between the touchscreen surface and the LCD display. These are programmed by the software, in the exact same way the valid areas on the screen to touch are, so tyhey are backwards compatible to all applications. When an on-screen object such as a button is touched, the tactile feedback controller underneath it, plays a specific vibro-tactile profile, which delivers the tactile feeling of a button being pushed in, back to the finger.

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