back to article Kyocera boffins make on-screen buttons feel real

Japanese electronics-maker Kyocera has been showing off new touchscreen tech designed to make typing keys and other elements on a smartphone or tablet display feel like the real thing. Boffins at the firm have developed a system which harnesses piezoelectricity to vibrate the screen back and forth incredibly quickly when it is …

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  1. solidsoup

    This is going to come in handy in cars. It's really stupid and dangerous that they replaced physical buttons designed to be very tactile with touch screens, so maybe this will fix it. Everywhere else this is not so useful. Maybe cyber sex or smth.

    And Kyocera? Really? Have those guys figured out how to make actual phone buttons not feel like cheap plastic crap?

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      I don't think it'll help with the car-touchscreen problem. Traditional auto controls (and the like) are useful because they're at fixed positions and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. That lets the driver identify the control largely by proprioception (specifically, by the combination of arm position, hand position, and finger positions) before manipulating the control. "Soft" modal controls on a touchscreen, which don't have a fixed relationship between their position and function, can't duplicate that - regardless of what they feel like to the touch.

      Touchscreen controls and other "unified" control systems (like BMW's rightly-accursed iDrive) simply remove too much of the information that's available to the operator under a traditional control system. They're inherently broken and stupid, and can't be fixed.

  2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Moor accurate tiepin ...

    ... does knot mean their will bee bettor spelling.

    1. Craig 28

      Re: Moor accurate tiepin ...

      More accurate hapticks doesn't necessarily mean people will pay attention to what they're doing while typing either. Just think of how many cock ups are made on a conventional keyboard. Still it's a nice addition for those of us who actually pay attention to what we're doing. (He says knowing there'll probably be an embarrassing typo somewhere in this very post)

      1. frank ly Silver badge
        Happy

        @Craig Re: Moor accurate tiepin ...

        Yes, there is, but I'm not telling you where.

      2. Martin Budden
        Headmaster

        @ Craig 28 Re: Moor accurate tiepin ...

        k

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Angel

    Just wait for the porn industry to get their hands on this.

    "Poking a nipple has never been so electrifying!"

  4. freebeerfriday

    speed bumps

    So will my finger bounce along the flat screen when using Swype?

    1. Piro

      Reminds me of the Brass Eye paedophilia episode, pantou the dog - paedophiles manipulating a child's face pressed against the screen.

      Ahh, Brass Eye..

  5. Julz

    What about NXT

    This is also being developed by the NXT boffins:

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/07/05/nxt_loudspeaker/

  6. ravenviz
    Headmaster

    mis-typed texts

    Spell 'checkers' do just as much damage, average user doesn't know they've added a badly spelled word to their dictionary, or how to remove it once it's been added. The spellchecker then thinks you like this 'new' word'. Mind you speech recognised typing on iPhone is quite impressive but not so good in public!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: mis-typed texts

      M$ Word default auto-correction was also guilty of silently changing what was typed. It would insert a space to isolate an initial letter - or substitute what it believed was a "correct" spelling. It quite happlly subsituted "modern" for "modem".

  7. Anomalous Cowshed

    Mis-typed texts

    There is no such thing as a mistyped text.

  8. Martin Budden
    Boffin

    Sore fingertips?

    The main reason a proper keyboard has sprung keys which move down is so you don't get sore fingertips. Typing on a hard surface (e.g. one of those projected keyboards, and some roll-out keyboards) for a decent length of time does give you sore fingertips. Faking a click feeling on a hard surface isn't going to prevent sore fingertips.

  9. pctechxp

    Why not

    Just add a keyboard.

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Why not

      Indeed.

      I have a mechanism which makes buttons feel real - real buttons. There, that's done; now what's for lunch?

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