Fujitsu hopes to bring tech to market in fiscal 2015
Fujitsu is at Mobile World Congress 2014 in Spain and the company is showing off a very cool prototype tablet that offers haptic feedback. The feedback that the tablet offers goes beyond simply vibrating when you touch the screen. The tablet uses ultrasonic vibrations to allow the user to feel rough surfaces on the screen.
The ultrasonic tech creates a pressurized layer of air on the screen surface that cushions the finger. That cushion makes the screen feel very smooth. Fujitsu can then rapidly turn that cushion of air on and off to give the sensation that the finger is sliding across a rough surface.
This means that you can feel the surface of a photo or feel the strings on a harp, as Fujitsu is showing with its demo at MWC 2014. Fujitsu says that the tech has been miniaturized enough to fit inside a tablet and to operate within the power limits of a mobile device.
Fujitsu hopes to commercialize the haptic tech by fiscal 2015. As the finger slides across the screen and the vibrations create the feeling of a rough surface, the audio system uses sound to enrich the user experience. It's unclear how much an impact this will have on the runtime of a tablet or smartphone equipped with the tech. This might be a good way to give tactile feedback to the keys of a virtual on screen keyboard as well.