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This article was published on October 29, 2010

    Electrostatic feedback: how future touchscreens might shock us

    Electrostatic feedback: how future touchscreens might shock us
    Chad Catacchio
    Story by

    Chad Catacchio

    Chad Catacchio is a contributor writing on a variety of topics in tech. He has held management positions at a number of tech companies in th Chad Catacchio is a contributor writing on a variety of topics in tech. He has held management positions at a number of tech companies in the US and China. Check out his personal blog to connect with him or follow him on Twitter (if you dare).

    Toshiba and Senseng have developed a prototype of an electrostatic variant of vibrotactile feedback for touchscreens – in other words, they’ve developed a way for users of smartphones, tablets and other touchscreens to get tactile feedback from their devices using static (not that we’d be shocked or electrocuted of course).

    Here’s how HowStuffWorks describes vibrotactile feedback:

    What we’re talking about here is electrotactile stimulation for sensory augmentation or substitution, an area of study that involves using encoded electric current to represent sensory information — information that a person cannot receive through the traditional channel — and applying that current to the skin, which sends the information to the brain. The brain then learns to interpret that sensory information as if it were being sent through the traditional channel for such data.

    Senseng and Toshiba demoed the technology back in August in the video below. What do you think about this for your future phone?