Typically, portable devices such as iPhones have simple vibration motors installed. They are nothing fancy. For instance, the motor in the iPhone simply serves as something that can be used with the vibrate function when someone calls you. However, developers also make use of it for games to add to the experience.
What is it?
One company at CES 2012 showed off some new technology. Artificial Muscle Inc. showed off some technology that allows users to receive realistic feedback by touching the screen. For instance, one can feel a button on the screen, even though the button doesn’t actually exist. It’s all done with precise vibrations that give the user feedback that makes it feel as if they are touching physical objects.
Feeling if Believing
That sounds a bit catchphrase-y, but feeling something does make it that much more believable. If you can almost feel grains of wood in an oject based on how your device vibrates, it only makes the experience that much more immersive. Imagine a hidden object game where you can feel around and feel as if you are touching object.
This probably isn’t as widely-mentioned, but the thought vision-impaired users being able to better use objects because they can almost feel them, is also interesting. They obviously do not have the visual feedback that most of do. They must find other ways to interact with objects. Touch would be a great way for them to experience.
The Future of touch?
Before, there have been cases that enhance the vibration functions of devices. However, Artificial Muscle wants to incorporate this fully into products in the manufacturing process. We will see how it goes, but if it feels as convincing as the company would have us believe, it could be a very cool innovation.