The Magic of Touch
Part of the magic of a conventional key board is the ability to physically sense where your fingers are. You might notice the "J" and "F" keys on your keyboard have physical landmarks for you to sense.
We all love our keyboards and the sensory interaction. But the emergence of touch screens have actually hindered typing. From the touch pad to smart phone, keying in text against a flat "feelingless" screen has been a problem.
Today, the touch screens can provide a whole new level of magic. A screen that actually touches back!
The technology is amazing...and might just be set to change the user experience.
Here are some of the details. You can find them at http://www.senseg.com
Senseg Is Haptics Re-Imagined and Realized
Senseg patented solution creates a sophisticated sensation of touch using Coloumb’s force, the principle of attraction between electrical charges. By passing an ultra-low electrical current into the insulated electrode, Senseg’s Tixel™, the proprietary charge driver can create a small attractive force to finger skin. By modulating this attractive force a variety of sensations can be generated, from textured surfaces and edges to vibrations and more.
Unlike effects created by mechanical vibration and piezo solutions, Senseg is silent. Moreover, with Senseg application developers have precise control of the location and type of effect users experience. What’s more, Senseg technology scales from touch pads, smart phones and tablets to the largest touch screens without increasing manufacturing complexity.
Senseg’s solution is comprised of three core elements:
- Senseg’s unique Tixel technology that activates the touch screen for electrostatic vibration;
- Senseg’s electronics module; and
- Senseg software that manages effects in applications.
The Senseg Tixel™
The Tixel is the means by which Senseg’s technology transmits electro-vibration stimulus. It is an ultra-thin durable coating on the touch interface that outputs tactile effects. Senseg’s patented Tixel can be applied to almost any surface, flat or curved, hard or soft, transparent or opaque. Because there are no moving parts in Senseg’s solution it can scale to almost any size of device. Moreover, with no mechanical inertia Senseg tactile response is immediate.
The patent pending Senseg electronics module manages electrical signals sent to the Tixel surface. Senseg electronics modulates the signal for varied intensities of tactile sensation, types of tactile effects and provides accurate spatial resolution over the entire Tixel surface area. With low power operability and no moving parts, the Senseg electronics module is safe and reliable for the lifetime of a device.
Senseg’s software is a complete Software Development Kit (SDK) including application development interfaces (APIs) and effects library that enables software developers to enhance their products with a complete range of haptics. Senseg’s SDK is designed for operating system portability. Senseg will deploy its software for OEM-targeted operating systems to support their product objectives.
Touch the future...with a word of caution
The caution relates back to the infamous Dvorak Keyboard.
The QWERT keyboard was designed back in the 1870's to accommodate the slow mechanical movement of early typewriters. When it was designed, touch typing literally hadn't even been thought of yet! It's hardly an efficient design for today's use. In fact, the purpose of the traditional keyboard WAS TO SLOW TYPING DOWN! The mechanical keys were limited and (as most remember) these keys would get stuck! By contrast, the Dvorak (pronounced "duh-VOR-ack", not like the Czech composer!) keyboard was designed with emphasis on typist comfort, high productivity and ease of learning -- it's much easier to learn! There were several variations in the Dvorak's design in its first few decades, but these were settled when the American National Standards Institute approved a standard for the layout of the Dvorak in 1982.
And while this innovative keyboard did have a RELATIVE ADVANTAGE, the existing typewriters and typewriting experience were too strong barriers for adoption to take place. People already owned typewriters and weren't willing to change. And to add insult to injury, the physical mechanics of typing fosters a signification resistance to re-learning a task, particularly later in life. So the innovation was a dud! (You can learn more about the innovation that didn't matter at http://www.johnnosta.com/2012/02/when-innovation-doesnt-matter/)
So, the big question: Will innovation trump compatibility and drive conversion? Or will the Senseg screen be a "novelty innovation" that goes the way of Dvorak?