Touch screen tactile feedback made available to PND

Touch screen tactile feedback made available to PND
Immersion Corporation (NASDAQ:IMMR), a developer of touch feedback technology, today announced TouchSense® tactile feedback for portable devices, technology that provides confirming tactile response to user touchscreen interactions, which can solve usability problems and enhance the user experience. The technology can be licensed by OEMs and system integrators and embedded into handheld electronics, such as personal navigation devices (PND).

Mark Belinsky, vice president and general manager of Immersion’s Mobility and Gaming group said: “though touchscreens offer many benefits, the loss of tactile feedback when a user makes an onscreen selection can create usability problems. TouchSense technology helps solve these problems and supplies a new and unique feature that people like -- and a powerful differentiator.”

Comprising circuit and mechanical specifications, firmware, APIs, and vibration, or tactile “effect” libraries, TouchSense technology provides high-speed control over a small electromechanical actuator, like those in mobile phones.

Using the TouchSense API, the portable device’s software application is programmed to respond to touch input by making calls to the TouchSense executable, running in the background on the host processor. 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. These finely tuned vibrations create sensations that can feel to the user like a button press or release.

This kind of technology is particularly interesting for PNDs for which most of the user’s commands are done through the touch screen, but in an environment where the driver is supposed to look at the road not at the screen.

Thursday, May 24th 2007

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