This article was published on May 30, 2011

Japan recreates the sensation of buttons on a touchscreen phone


Japan recreates the sensation of buttons on a touchscreen phone
Francis Tan
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Francis Tan

Francis Tan is the Asia editor of TNW, who is based in the Philippines. He is particularly interested in Asian Internet startups, social me Francis Tan is the Asia editor of TNW, who is based in the Philippines. He is particularly interested in Asian Internet startups, social media and e-commerce. Get in touch with him via Twitter @francistan or Email [email protected].

Japanese telecommunications operator KDDI is developing a smartphone which can accurately recreate the sensation of using physical buttons on a touch panel.

Using fingers to swipe, press and flick to perform certain actions on touchscreens is a new and easy way to interact with devices. The problem with it, however, is that the glass is unresponsive and doesn’t provide any feedback to the user, which makes it hard to tell if they have already selected a button. Even though some devices offer simple Haptic vibrations to notify input, it is still practically impossible to touch-type.

The new clicking function is achieved by a combining a vibration function and a pressure sensor in a Haptic touch panel. When users input letters, in addition to the visual feedback, they now get a feeling of having pushed something. KDDI claims that it actually feels as if you are touching or moving across buttons, and if you press lightly, you get a stronger clicking feeling as you select an application.