Oh boy, soon we will be able to feel whatever machines want us to feel! The researchers of EPFL’s Integrated Actuators Laboratory (LAI) in Neuchâtel in Switzerland come up with a technology which allows electronic devices to manipulate the layer of air between your fingertips and the electronic devices’ surfaces, allowing people to feel whatever surfaces the electronic devices’ touchscreen technology or some sort of touch surface technology is designed to mimic.
It’s not yet clear but I suspect that such electronic devices that utilize this technology might be able to have touchscreen surfaces mimic whatever materials on the wimp of software. So, imagine one can download an app on iPhone to have iPhone touchscreen mimics and projects a sort of surface/material which closely correlates the digital images (i.e., photos). It sounds so science fiction, isn’t it?
If this technology can present a photo of a flower to a user in a way that a user can feel the photo of a flower as if he or she is touching a real flower, then it will be one hot technology for sure. Otherwise, I can still see the awesomeness of this technology, but I won’t be as happy as in the case of actually being able to feel the digital image as if it is a real thing. I guess, it’s human nature for us to want more than less, and so I end this post with a link to YouTube‘s video which delves into this technology in details.
- Haptic tech taps touch screen you can feel (news.cnet.com)
- Haptic touchscreen tech creates virtual textures [Video] (slashgear.com)
- MS develops sensor for through-fabric touch input (electronista.com)
- ABI Research: 97% of all smartphones will have touchscreens by 2016 (intomobile.com)
- Beyond touch: A look at next-gen user interfaces (infoworld.com)