It seems unfair that Smell-o-Vision gets all kinds of publicity just because it rhymes with television, when it’s Touch-o-Vision that’s worth getting really excited about. Perhaps in response to the the inherent hideousness of the name Touch-o-Vision, or the fact that the primary application is actually Touch-o-Touchpads, Senseg’s new E-Sense technology, which emulates texture on touchsceens, is organizing itself around what are being called tixels, tactile pixels.
Attempting to add tactile qualities to touchscreens is nothing new. In fact, some haptic-based technologies have been being developed to that end for years. The difference here is a matter of approach. While most, if not all, existing touchscreen feedback technology is founded in vibration, E-Sense technology takes the opposite approach. Instead of stimulating the device to respond underneath the screen, it simulates the finger to respond above the screen with the use of electric fields.
The applications of this technology are practically endless. Of course, there is the aformentioned Touch-o-Vision approach which could be applied to software aimed at young children, or even adults, who might like the idea of a virtual pet that is enjoyable to pet. When it comes to practicality, tixel technology could potentially make touchscreen keyboards more intuitive for us old-fashioned types, or even for the blind. There’s precious little information to be had about the cost of this technology and/or its potential to go widely commercial, but the fact that it even exists seems like a good sign for tablet manufactures everywhere as well as all of us who are still old fashioned enough to want to feel the things we touch.
(via The Next Web)