Gadgets for humans

Tactile pixels let you ‘feel’ textures on touchscreens


You could soon be able to ‘feel’ touchscreen displays, thanks to technology being developed in Sweden.

Senseg’s E-Sense technology is designed to recreate the feeling of a wide variety of textures on touchscreen devices. It uses ‘tixels’ (tactile pixels) to generate an electric field several millimeters above a device’s surface. This enables finely-tuned sensations to be created on the your skin, replicating all sorts of textures – you don’t even need to actually touch the screen to feel them, either.

It’s certainly sounds light years ahead of the haptic feedback used in many phones today, which merely vibrates to confirm that your touch of the screen has been accepted. While Senseg’s technology could be used to more accurately replicate the feel of a real keyboard, for example, it also has the potential to usher in imaginative new user interface concepts based on feel rather than visuals – it could be great for gaming, too.

Senseg says that its technology is inexpensive and easy for hardware manufacturers to implement. The company already has Toshiba on board and is looking for more partners to sign up to use the tech in their products.

Published July 8, 2011 — 12:10 UTC