Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Nokia S60, with haptic feedback touchscreen?

We all know Nokia is keeping is iPhone "killer" S60 under tight wraps, but every now and then some new details slip by.

This time, a new touchscreen tactile feedback system was revealed (and actually tested) by RedFerret.

As we all know, one of the most "uncomfortable" things to do on a touchscreen is to type. That's the reason why so many handheld devices come with foldable or sliding keyboards.

If Nokia is capable of providing a real typing feeling on their touch devices, lots of customers will certainly appreciate it.

This haptikos system has been in development for over 10 years on Nokia's Research Lab and aims to provide the same feeling as if you were typing on a real keyboard.

“The basic technology is not that difficult,” said Roope Takala, Senior Program Manager at Nokia’s research labs while demonstrating a hacked Nokia N770, “We inserted two small piezo sensor pads under the screen and engineered in a 0.1mm movement in the screen itself. What’s taken the time has been fine tuning the movement and response to mimic exactly the sensation of pressing a real key.”
And although it may come as a surprise...
“Funnily enough, although you think you’re typing faster than normal because of the feedback, in actual fact you’re not,” said Takala, “There’s just some sort of mental satisfaction that comes from typing with a tactile response.”
Glad to know Nokia is working to keep us mentally satisfied! :)

This technology is expected to show up on the upcoming S60.

If it's as good as advertised, I don't doubt it will be the next evolutionary step in mobile touchscreen devices.

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