New Nokia patent application gives insight in to haptic feedback technology – More details on Haptikos

Nokia Haptikos patent application - haptic feedbackHaptic feedback will be the next stage of touchscreen evolution. Apple has revolutionized the mobile industry with their multi-touch display proving that touchscreens work in the mass-market. But, critics of the sleek, flush, and glass-covered touchscreen denounce the multi-touch display’s lack of feedback – and it’s all true.

So in an effort to bring the touchscreen game to a higher level, Nokia announced some time ago that they are working on making localized haptic feedback a reality. Rather than vibrating the entire device to indicate a particular touchscreen input, like we see in all other handsets touting “vibration feedback,” localized haptics aims to give the user precise tactile feedback concentrated in the input-region. Basically, localized haptics’ goal is to emulate the feel of a button-press under a fingertip. That’s where Nokia’s Haptikos technology comes in to play.

To that end, Nokia’s Haptikos project was unveiled last year, and promised to make virtual buttons feel real. But, we have been left in want of more details – until now.

Nokia Haptikos patent application - haptic feedbackA new patent application from Nokia outlines just how this localized haptic feedback system would work. Haptikos will apparently employ numerous voltage-sensitive elements within a film that raise and lower in response to electrical current.

The patent application text describes the technology as a “plurality of closely spaced voltage controllable protuberances.”

These protuberances, or “rods,” could be embedded in a transparent film and placed atop the touchscreen panel or integrated in to the panel itself. Much like Apple’s patent for “embedded bumps” that raise and lower in response to voltage potentials, Nokia is looking to affect the feel of pressing a mechanical button on the touchscreen itself.

The finger would affect a voltage change across the Haptikos membrane, triggering the embedded “rods” to raise up, giving the user the “feel” of a real button. As the finger is lifted, the electrical potential under the finger returns to normal and causes the “rods” to once again become flush with the surface – emulating the feel of “releasing” a mechanical button.

We’re in for some truly exciting times with emerging touchscreen technology. As I’ve said before, the age of physical keys, and especially keyboards, is drawing to a close. Touchscreens are here to stay and will be the medium of choice for almost all mobile applications.

Bring on the haptic feedback!

Nokia haptic feedback patent application – Haptikos. (PDF link)

[Via: Symbian-Freak]

  • Jeff

    Intresting , I belive it be a hit when Nokia launch there new touch screens

  • Murli

    will, that’s interesting. any idea if this would work with non-finger pointing devices too? could i use a pen to make more precise pointing actions than i could with my finger?

  • Will Park

    I have no idea if a stylus-like pointing device could provide haptic feedback. But, I would imagine you could create a system that vibrates the tip of the stylus when touched to the screen.

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