Immersion Corporation is introducing its TouchSense technology for touchscreens at the SID Symposium (Society for Information Display).
TouchSense technology supplies tactile cues, providing a more intuitive, personal, and natural experience. Instead of just feeling the hard touchscreen surface, users perceive that buttons depress and release, just as physical buttons and switches do. System designers can synchronize TouchSense tactile sensations with sound and on-screen graphical images.
Immersion first implemented its TouchSense force feedback technology in 1996 in gaming system peripherals. Since that time, it has been incorporated into numerous computer and video console systems; medical simulation systems; rotary controls in cars from BMW, Rolls Royce, and Volkswagen; and mobile phones from Samsung. TouchSense technology for touchscreens is the latest implementation.
The company says that many touchscreen applications can be improved or expanded with TouchSense technology. For example, menu items programmed to supply a pulse sensation or a confirming push-back response may help machine operators improve efficiency. Buttons such as Enter, Next, and other major and minor functions can supply a distinct and consistent feel throughout a kiosk application to assist consumers. And on-screen automotive controls can exhibit increasing or decreasing vibrations corresponding to fan speed, radio volume, or light level to help reduce glance time.
TouchSense technology for touchscreens involves actuators, controllers, effect authoring software, and application programming interfaces (APIs) that let designers focus on effect creation rather than on the mechanics of programming. When a user touches the screen, an analog signal is sent to the touchscreen controller, which supplies information on the precise screen location where contact was made. This location information is sent to the host application, which commands Immersion's haptic controller to play a specific vibro-tactile effect corresponding to the user's selection.