Nokia prepping touchscreens with tactile feedback

Some of Nokia's upcoming devices will feature touch-sensitive screens which also provide a sensation of physical response when used.

Some of Nokia's upcoming devices will feature touch-sensitive screens which also provide a sensation of physical response when used.

So-called "haptic" touchscreens, which provide a user with the feel of pressing a moving physical button, have been in development for some time, however Nokia will become the first major manufacturer to actually implement the technology.

The Red Ferret Journal got an early preview of Nokia's patented "Haptikos" system, and had this to say:

In use, the touch feedback on the demo device was near on perfect. Each press of a key returned a clunky click and tactile snap on the touchscreen, which made typing feel incredibly responsive and very usable on the smooth screen surface. In fact it was hard to remember that you were using a touchscreen keyboard.

The haptic system doesn't yet support more subtle responses such as for drawing or scrolling, but Nokia intends to develop its repertoire more fully for future models.

Shipping Soon

The first device to become available with the new screen is expected to be a Symbian/S60-based smartphone, which also implements a new interface designed for use with touchscreens. The "S60 Touch" interface retains compatibility with existing S60 software, while also enabling display-based controls.

Nokia has also retrofitted some of its 770 Internet Tablets for testing purposes, opening up the possibility that haptic touchscreens will make an appearance in the company's non-phone models.

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