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Fujitsu Labs Develops Prototype Haptic Sensory Tablet

samzenpus posted about 6 months ago | from the can-you-feel-that? dept.

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Zothecula writes "Many smartphone or tablet users will already be familiar with receiving vibration feedback when typing on a virtual keyboard, but, though better than nothing, it's not particularly convincing. There have been attempts to make sensory feedback from touchscreens more realistic using electrostatic force, for example, or even creating the sensation of physical buttons by pushing liquid into prearranged tactile pixels, but Fujitsu is claiming to break new ground with its prototype haptic sensory tablet."

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I can't actually think of an application (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 6 months ago | (#46388435)

Maybe some games that rely on touch as a novel form of sensory input, but I can't think of a useful program I'd want this kind of feedback for.

Re:I can't actually think of an application (2)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 6 months ago | (#46388479)

Well, there is a whole market of tablet games for sight-impaired users that has barely been touched yet!

Re:I can't actually think of an application (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46388509)

Well, there is a whole market of tablet games for sight-impaired users that has barely been touched yet!

Wait... Was that a JOKE? I think it was, maybe, perhaps. Kind of funny I guess..

Don't worry (3, Insightful)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 6 months ago | (#46388491)

Porn games will think of something.

Re:Don't worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46388531)

Porn games will think of something.

Put the tablet where??? Not going to do that.

Re:Don't worry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46388661)

Realistic boobs?

Re:Don't worry (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 6 months ago | (#46388783)

Realistic boobs?

If you're an A-cup aficionado.

Re:Don't worry (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46388665)

"I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that. " - HAL

Re:I can't actually think of an application (4, Insightful)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | about 6 months ago | (#46388511)

Are you kidding? I'm having trouble thinking of an application that wouldn't benefit from this type of feedback. A few, off the top of my head:

Tactile feedback on a keyboard yields a huge improvement in speed and accuracy.

Tactile feedback on buttons helps confirm that you're hitting the right one, and successfully activating it.

Tactile feedback on scrolling can give you another channel for judging speed or position.

Lack of tactile feedback is one of the single biggest impediments to "virtual control" usability. I don't know if this approach is the magic bullet, but I welcome all research in this direction.

Re:I can't actually think of an application (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 6 months ago | (#46388581)

I guess, but what they've got is smooth regions vs. rough regions. I can't imagine telling any better if the button press is good before I hit it. If I'm aiming for the center of a key on a keyboard and I feel that I hit an edge, does that tell me if I hit the right edge of the one I wanted or the right edge of the one to the left?

What makes a traditional keyboard work for me is that my fingers have resting places on the home row that gives me a physical sensation of where they SHOULD be. If I'm touching a touch screen, it's too late, I've hit the key already. What am I missing?

Re:I can't actually think of an application (2)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | about 6 months ago | (#46388905)

Are you kidding? I'm having trouble thinking of an application that wouldn't benefit from this type of feedback. A few, off the top of my head:

Tactile feedback on a keyboard yields a huge improvement in speed and accuracy.

Tactile feedback on buttons helps confirm that you're hitting the right one, and successfully activating it.

Tactile feedback on scrolling can give you another channel for judging speed or position.

Lack of tactile feedback is one of the single biggest impediments to "virtual control" usability. I don't know if this approach is the magic bullet, but I welcome all research in this direction.

This probably won't be as effective as you are thinking. The feedback occurs after the press. As such, for typing, it won't improve accuracy unless, you are always "typing" on parts of the screen that aren't showing keys. However, if you are typing on the "keys", all you will know is that you pressed a key, not which key. If you put your hands on a real keyboard, but have them on the wrong row, you can type gibberish all day long, even though you know you are pressing keys.

Even with the feedback, it doesn't get past the fact that you are still typing on a flat screen. Look at those chicklet bluetooth keyboards. They are better than typing on the screen, but not by much, if you have a lot of typing to do. Even on a full sized tablet (10"), the on screen keyboard, with or without feedback, is notably smaller than a regular keyboard.

Buttons on the screen would be similar. You will know that a button is pressed, but with an audible click or a highlight of the button, you know that now. This will be just one more way.

Places where this could really be useful, though, as others have mentioned is with the blind or deaf, who don't have the full sensory range. Particularly with the blind, if it could be developed so that the sensation was similar to braille. But for most people, the most likely use will be in gaming, where the screen will feel like different textures (rough or smooth) when you are scrolling over it. Think of a golf game, in the fairway, the swipe to swing the club is smooth. In the rough, well, it's rough and probably less accurate because of it.

That's not to say that there won't be some non game uses. But for the most part, while an interesting technology, it probably won't make a huge impact on how one uses a tablet or a smart phone.

Three applications (1)

abednegoyulo (1797602) | about 6 months ago | (#46388703)

1) Porn
2) Pr0n
3) PORN!

Re:Three applications (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46391307)

4) Hentai
5) Furry
6) Futanari
7) Tentacles
8) Profits!

Re:I can't actually think of an application (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46391559)

Huh? Why wouldn't you want better feedback on where your fat thumb is actually located on the screen? This isn't about new functionality, this is about improving the still very crappy touchscreen experience. It's not all the way there, but I can see it helping a lot in things like virtual joysticks or determining the boundary of a touchable window.

No gizmag (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46388557)

No, gizmag, I don't want to sign up for your fucking newsletter!

Think I'll Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46388641)

There should be one out soon that just kicks you in the balls every time you tap the screen.

One word (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46388651)

PORN

Who cares? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46388669)

Dice Holding keeps on pandering stupid shit no one cares about, mucks up the interface to shit.

Dice turned sourceforge into the myspace of repo sites, lost to github. Now they're gonna turn this site into the biggest pile of shit you've ever seen.

Re:Who cares? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46388827)

lol whats the problem then. the beta seems pretty good already

Call me an old curmudgeonly type... (2)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about 6 months ago | (#46388693)

but I'll still to my RM-9000 with Cherry Blues.

In before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46388729)

...all the "stroke my crocodile" jokes.

The title is the summary (0)

Hattmannen (658936) | about 6 months ago | (#46388985)

This summary has reached a new level of not summarising the article at all.
FTFY:

Zothecula writes

RTFA [gizmag.com]

Sounds great but... (1)

wstrucke (876891) | about 6 months ago | (#46388999)

imagine what a virus could do.

US tactile technology (1)

Karljohan (807381) | about 6 months ago | (#46394291)

I've tried the technology and it provides nice feedback! The problem then was that your finger would vibrate at a lower frequency, actually emitting audible noise.

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