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Design

Imagine Feeling Texture On Your Touchscreen

These prototypes aim to add another sensory dimension to your mobile experience.
December 15, 2011, 12:03am

Soon you’ll not only be able to control a tablet with your fingertips, but you’ll actually be able to feel various textures like fabric, sand and water on your touchscreen. Though it may seem like a far-fetched reality, more and more companies are designing prototypes that feature this “Feel Screen” technology.

Both Disney Research’s TeslaTouch and the Swiss scientists at EPFL are working to enhance tablet experiences with the use of electrovibration technology. This innovative software development adds the sensation of texture in relation to the displayed image by implementing sonorous vibrations. Unfortunately, an undesired sensation supplements this advancement—noise.

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Unlike effects created by mechanical vibration, the latest electrovibration technology developed by Senseg guarantees a silent device, and the company expects to release their “Feel Screen” interface sometime within the next two years. Additionally, Microsoft promises to replicate textures with light-sensitive, plastic, cell-constructed screens, eliminating the noise derived from electrovibration technology.

Excited to know more? Check out these demonstration videos of “Feel Screen” prototypes below:

Disney Research: TeslaTouch

EPFL

Senseg

We can’t help but imagine what it would be like to take this advancement one step further. How about playing with this giant, multi-user touchscreen in combination with sensory textures?