Feel a keyboard on your touchscreen soon

Feel a keyboard on your touchscreen soon

New York: What if the touchscreen of your smartphone or tablet could touch you back? It does happen, researchers report.

In a study of people drawing their fingers over a flat surface that has two “virtual bumps”, the team from Northwestern University and Carnegie Mellon University found that, under certain circumstances, the subjects feel only one bump when there really are two.

Forces felt by the fingers as they travel along a flat surface can lead to the illusion that the surface actually contains bumps.

This so-called “virtual bump illusion” is well known in the haptics field.

Touch is so important in our real world, but it is neglected in the digital world.

“We want to create something that will make touch a reality for people interacting with their screens, and this work is a step in that direction,” said J Edward Colgate, an expert in touch-based (haptic) systems from Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.

The team’s experiment presented two “virtual bumps” to subjects participating in the study.

When bump and finger spacing were identical, subjects reported feeling two bumps as one.

In this case, the brain thinks it is too coincidental that there should be two bumps at the same time so it registers the bumps as one.

The new model could one day lead to flat-screen displays featuring active touch-back technology such as making your touchscreen’s keyboard actually feel like a keyboard.

Tactile information also could benefit the blind, users of dashboard technology in cars, players of video games and more.

The findings also provide insight into how the brain makes sense of data from fingers.

The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Related Post

BEWARE: Overeating can cause depression
views 71
In a recent study, it has been found that chronic overeating and stress are tied to an increased risk of depression and anxiety. The researchers from ...
Kangaroos use their tail as ‘fifth leg’
views 267
A new study has revealed that kangaroos use their tail as a "fifth leg" and plant their tails on the ground in combination with their front and hind l...
‘New species’ of humans discovered in east Africa
views 161
Ancient jaw bones and teeth were discovered in the Afar region of the country – the same area where the most famous ancient human, Lucy, was dug up in...
Scientists discover world’s eighth continent called ‘Zealandia’...
views 190
Today a new report was released that stated scientists have discovered a largely-underwater continent called Zealandia. The new, and what could soon b...
Scientists develop Octopus-like robot
views 58
Scientists from the University of Southampton have developed an octopus-like robot, which can zoom through water with ultra-fast propulsion and accele...

SHARE WHAT YOU THINK