NEC takes a different and strange approach to tactile touchscreen tech

Discussion in 'Android News' started by dgstorm, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. dgstorm
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    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member Premium Member

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    We frequently like to share some of the amazing advancements in technology that we find, and sometimes the new ideas and breakthroughs are so revolutionary that it almost seems like magic. Today, we are sharing some newly evolving tech from NEC in the field of tactile touchscreens of the future, but this one probably doesn't qualify for the previous description. In fact, it's a bit weird and seems almost like a step backwards; however, who knows for sure how far this idea might progress, so we thought it worth mentioning.

    Apparently, NEC's take on the tactile touchscreen wave of the future is a movable glass screen with wires and micro-gears nudging it around inside your tablet. No... really... they literally jerk the screen around to follow your movement patterns. You have to see the video to believe it. It's easy to scoff at such a retro idea, but I suppose it's possible that some future molecularized nanite version of this might actually be viable someday. Also, you have to give these designers props for coming up with a novel idea. After-all, sometimes even the craziest of ideas could morph into something amazing.

    Source: AndroidTablets.net via Diginfo
  2. gadgetrants
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    gadgetrants Well-Known Member

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    Ah, no, I'm not quite sure you got the gist of it (could your writing be off today??? unthinkable!): the screen only moves a tiny amount -- the concept is pure ergonomics, and the point is that screen "jitter" provides force feedback. It's basically a way to provide an information channel back to the user during touch. The current implementation on phones (e.g., virtual keyboards) is a pretty weak example -- it basically means "you touched me." I think the concept could be pushed (like you hinted) toward much more rich information "signals"...think "Braille". It's difficult to imagine how touch-based vibration can serve as a tactile information cue, but my sense is we rely on touch (e.g., texture and vibration and temperature) so much, the pickup is not only subconscious but carrying a good deal of data in realtime.

    -Matt
  3. dgstorm
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    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member Premium Member

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    Oh. heya Matt! I think I understood the tech... (although I greatly appreciate your indirect/backwards compliment on my writing consistency. :)) It's just that while watching the video, you can literally see the glass move as it "jitters" so it looks like this initial implementation is still very "rough." Also, I completely agree that these are great technologies to explore, and in fact this could eventually merge with the other versions of tactile tech to create some sort of cohesive augmented touch reality sensation device. ;)
  4. ilikemoneygreen
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    ilikemoneygreen New Member

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    After al that all my mind took from that is how slow that touchscreen seemed to be. he would move his finger and then the on screen circle took a sec to catch up to his finger. Thats what the company needs to work on.... not a screen that physically moves. Thats just another thing to break. KISS would apply here.... Just keep it simple and throw out the moving screen.
  5. gadgetrants
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    gadgetrants Well-Known Member

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    You know, I stopped watching half-way through cuz I figured it was the same stuff. :( My bad for reaching for the teaching moment -- and "augmented touch reality sensation device"???? Are you consulting with these guys on the side? ;)

    -Matt
  6. dgstorm
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    dgstorm Editor in Chief Staff Member Premium Member

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    ^^ lol.
  7. gadgetrants
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    gadgetrants Well-Known Member

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  8. Gungiddy
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    Gungiddy New Member

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    The screen isn't reacting to the person's finger moving around. It is reacting to the colored circles interacting with the main circle you move. So when one of the little colored circles hits your circle from say the right, the screen moves to imitate the force of that hit from the right. I'm sure there are people far smarter than I that could find some practical uses for this type of technology.
  9. MissionImprobable
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    MissionImprobable Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, the first thing I thought of was this being great for people who are blind. Someone who's used to using touch as a far more important sense for gathering information could gain a lot from the nuanced feedback this would offer. As the creators/commentators mentioned navigation, it would be nice if it could do little things like tell a blind or vision impaired person that they are coming to an intersection when they are using their device for directions for instance.

    It would also be great for games too if the subtleties are fine enough. I remember a few years ago Stevie Wonder was on a video game awards show and saying how he would love it if there were a way for the blind to be able to really enjoy video games like everyone else does. Maybe one day there will be optic nerve stimulators like Jordie Leforge has in Star Trek, but this seems like a great step for now.