Immersion to showcase touch feedback for laptops and portable devices

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San Jose (CA) - Immersion today said that it will demonstrate haptic feedback integrated in screens in mobile devices for the first time this week. Does a portable Plastation, Xbox or Nintendo DS with a rumble pack feature make sense?

Immersion still relies mainly on income generated by licensing its touch feedback technology to game controllers offered by companies such as Sony and Microsoft. The companies has been exploring other possibilities of devices that might benefit from touch feedback as well, including computer mice, but has largely failed. More than 70 million cellphones with the firm’s touch feedback technology have shipped, touching only a small portion of the overall mobile market.

Immersion is now aiming for notebooks as well as portable devices, including portable gaming consoles as well as mobile Internet devices (MIDs), as potential future target devices for the company’s technology.

“The sense of touch is fundamental to the future of user experience in digital devices, and our demonstration is another milestone in that evolution,” said Clent Richardson, chief executive officer of Immersion. “Simply put, without haptics, touchscreen devices simply will not realize their full potential. From mobile phones to gaming devices, and now with much-anticipated laptops and other portables moving quickly to touchscreens, our haptic technology provides richer, more engaging and fulfilling experiences.”

At Fortune Brainstorm: Tech, the company said will demonstrate a game prototype integrating graphics, sound and haptics, in which two players volley a pinball between two networked tablet computers. In this prototype, players can feel the action of the ball in play through high-fidelity haptic feedback while touching the screen and holding the computer, even when the ball is in play on the other computer – whether they are across the room or around the world.
 
What do you think? Do we need MIDs and a portable Playstation with touch feedback? Would the iPhone benefit from such a feature?