Kyocera Makes Haptics Happen (Sort Of?)

According to a report by Tech-On!, Kyocera Corp. demoed a new touchscreen panel for mobile devices at CEATEC Japan that simulates the feeling of touching a physical button.

Bearing the moniker “New Sensation Touch Panel”, the new touchscreen apparently uses piezoelectric elements embedded between the LCD and touch panels. When the user’s finger touches a given spot on the screen, the piezo elements sense the pressure and vibrate, which gives the user the sense that they’re touching a physical button.

The elements can reportedly simulate a button click; pressing a soft mechanical button; a half- and full-press of a shutter button; and more, by varying vibration frequency and modulation. Multitouch vibrations aren’t possible, at least at this stage.

This sounds like an interesting and surprisingly simple technology, and one that we’d like to see--er, feel--for ourselves before passing judgment either way. However, having haptic capabilities would really help all of those who would like to send texts and emails without keeping their eyes glued to the screen.