Mobile
Commentary
7/6/2009
12:14 PM
Ed Hansberry
Ed Hansberry
Commentary
50%
50%

Better Feedback From iPhone Touchscreen

Help may be on the way if you are one of those iPhone users that doesn't like the lack of tactile feedback from the on-screen QWERTY keyboard. No, there isn't a new iPhone on the way with a real keyboard, at least, not that I know of. Apple has filed a patent to provide "localized tactile feedback" on a touchscreen.

Help may be on the way if you are one of those iPhone users that doesn't like the lack of tactile feedback from the on-screen QWERTY keyboard. No, there isn't a new iPhone on the way with a real keyboard, at least, not that I know of. Apple has filed a patent to provide "localized tactile feedback" on a touchscreen.MacRumors spotted the patent and posted about it last week. The patent, in all of its technical geek glory can be found at the US Patent Office web site. From the patent summary:

The present invention includes systems, methods, computer readable media and other means for providing localized tactile, or haptic, feedback to a user of a touchscreen electronic device. The haptic feedback can take any form, including vibration, and can be paired with other non-visual feedback such as audible noise. The present invention may utilize a grid of piezoelectric actuators to provide haptic feedback that enables a user to non-visually navigate a visual display.

I am a touch-typist, even on a mobile device, and spend most of my time looking at the screen to see what I've typed, not looking at the keyboard area to see what to type. It remains to be seen if this invention will help much. No doubt it won't please everyone, but it may be enough to allow some people to focus less on the keyboard itself and more on the screen, or worse, where they are driving.

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