Immersion offers tactile feedback technology for portable devices with touchscreens

Posted by Wolfgang Gruener

San Jose (CA) – Immersion today announced the availability of tactile feedback for small touchscreens used in navigation devices, media players and remote controls.

According to Immersion, the technology adds vibrations to a display to generate a sensation that can trick a user into the feel of pressing or releasing a physical button. The company believes that this effect can add another dimension to using touchscreen devices and solve certain problems – such as the fact that small onscreen controls can be obscured by fingers, that graphical changes cannot be seen clearly, that sound cues cannot be heard well, or the fact that users can’t always be looking at the screen.

Immersion’s Touchsense can be licensed by OEM’s and consists of circuitry, and mechanical specifications, firmware, APIs, and vibration libraries. The API is programmed to respond to touch input by making calls to the Touchsense executable, running in the background on the host processor, Immersion said. The executable generates signals through the Immersion-specified drive circuit, which controls the vibrations of the actuator, mounted to the side or rear of the device’s display.

The company said that the Touchsense system works with touchscreens up to a size of about 15 cm (6”) and a weight of about 7 ounces.