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Input Devices News

A Sticky Touch Screen Lets You Feel the Buttons 72

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the gross-gross-gross dept.
mikejuk sent one in that sends absolute shivers up my spine. "I have a problem with sticky touch screens — whenever I try to clean the jam off I activate and use a lot of apps I never intended to. However it looks as if sticky is the way of the future. A prototype screen has been shown that varies the friction as you move your finger across it. The result is that you can 'feel' the buttons and notches on scroll bars. It sure beats having to build real buttons..."
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A Sticky Touch Screen Lets You Feel the Buttons

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  • So "jam" is what they're calling it now, eh?

  • from all activities that could um make the screen sticky.

  • There are a lot of users out there with sticky keyboards.

    Those keyboards didn't start out sticky. It's best not to think about why they are sticky. And wear gloves if you have to touch the keyboard.
  • What am I missing? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @09:29AM (#36082862)

    whenever I try to clean the jam off I activate and use a lot of apps I never intended to.

    Turn it off and clean it? Or am I missing something.

    • by oodaloop (1229816)
      If you are, I'm missing it too. Screenlock, wipe on pants, unlock.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Wipe on pants, wipe on pants, wipe...on...pants...........YEAH! Oh damn, the screen's sticky again.....
    • by JTsyo (1338447)
      You're missing that it's a joke for sticky. The screen increases resistance making it feel "sticky", it doesn't ooze any material onto the screen.
  • is just fancy talk for "This stuff is leading directly to sexbots. You'll thank us later."

  • by lxs (131946)

    "Instead of embedding lots of transducers across the surface of the panel the system tracks the figure position and simply turns the vibration on and off. "

    Bye bye multitouch?

  • Touch screens that "bulge" out at arbitrary places where 'haptic buttons' are placed. That are pressure sensitive, and that you can feel going down when you push them.

    Friction alone is not much feedback. We also need to know when we've pushed a button.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Touch screens that "bulge" out at arbitrary places where 'haptic buttons' are placed.
      That are pressure sensitive, and that you can feel going down when you push them.

      Wake me when I can buy a Goa'uld tablet PC.

      • by vegiVamp (518171)

        They just stole the technology from another race, you know.

        Hmm... Bill ? Steve ? Blood test, please ?

    • by EdZ (755139)
  • ...the lack of tactile feedback.

    For what I used to call mouse guestures - I don't know what to call them now that a mouse isn't involved any longer - a touch screen is great. Just wipe, swipe and pinch all you like and it works great and intuitively. For pushing buttons... not so great in my opinion, and even less if you don't get an immediate feedback (visual or auditory) telling you if the button press have been registered or not. And don't even get me started on the on-screen-keyboard thing... combining

    • by yincrash (854885) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @09:51AM (#36083210)
      Did you read the article? While this isn't the same as a raised button, it is definitely a form of tactile feedback. I think the biggest issue with this form though is that it only appears to work for one finger.
      • The biggest thing I'd want feedback for is knowing where to put my finger, and that doesn't get helped at all with this, because it happens when the finger's already touching it, and in fact only when it's moving. Aside from that, help moving a text carat would be great, I suppose, but I don't see most of the rest being useful.

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          he biggest thing I'd want feedback for is knowing where to put my finger, and that doesn't get helped at all with this, because it happens when the finger's already touching it, and in fact only when it's moving. Aside from that, help moving a text carat would be great, I suppose, but I don't see most of the rest being useful.

          It's useful for text entry actually. If you tap the wrong key you just shift left or right and the feedback tells you when you can lift your finger - after a few times you'll probalby

      • by steelfood (895457)

        It also only works while the finger is moving across the screen. This technology relies on the differential formed by varying between vibrating and not vibrating. You can't have a differential if you're just tapping the screen.

  • ...I've lost the bleeps, I lost the sweeps, and I lost the creeps.
  • And I don't see a single one posted yet.
  • by eepok (545733) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @10:09AM (#36083530) Homepage

    Well, am I?

    Buttons provide tactile response about location and success of triggering a function. Both aspects are quite useful for things like accessibility, but I still prefer the knowledge of having hit a button on a cell phone keypad or qwerty over the use of a touchscreen where I have to constantly be looking at what I'm typing.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You are not. I miss physical buttons too. I hate having to look at the screen to do everything.

    • You (and the people who modded you up) do know they still make phones with buttons, right? You don't have to miss them at all.

      • Can you suggest a decent smartphone with a physical keyboard that works on 1700/2100Mhz AWS? And by decent, I am looking for something roughly comparable with the Nexus S and not produced by RIM. And no, switching carriers is not an option, unless there are other carriers in both the US and Canada supporting the same frequencies and providing comparible service - in terms of price, coverage and customer service.

    • I think I miss buttons more than you. phone shmone, I hate that my external LCD has no buttons.
      I want a big, easy to feel in the dark, cheap, classic button that closes or opens a circuit, dam it! Like the red button on this thing [google.com].
      I'm only 28, and I'm already thinking about the fact that some young people have never felt and heard the satisfying "click" that a real button makes. It is somehow strange to feel so old.

      • Wrong. Buttons break. They wear down and off. They get in the way when you're not using them. I can't count the number of devices I've had, prematurely bound for the trash heap because of a single button. It's always cheaper to replace the entire unit than fix them. You can delude yourself with rosy memories, I'll enjoy my new found freedom and my devices that last longer with fewer moving parts.

    • Me too. It's getting harder and harder to find a good Android phone with a good keyboard. Sadly, the lovely G1 still has the best keyboard.
    • by eth1 (94901)

      I actually usually prefer a touch screen, but there's a big catch. There can't be ANY lag. My iPhone is great - almost everything responds immediately, and I have no problems at all.

      My GPS has the same type of touch screen, but it's horrible. There's a little (very very tiny bit, actually) lag, but it's enough to really throw me off.

      Basically, touch screens suck when the hardware can't keep up with the interface.

  • by danlock4 (1026420) on Tuesday May 10, 2011 @11:00AM (#36084266) Journal

    TFA indicates that the screen vibrates to create a thin layer of air between the finger and the screen. That results in low friction. When the finger "touches" a button, the vibration stops, the finger "touches down on" the screen and the friction increases, telling the finger and the brain that a button (or a notch on a scroll bar, etc.) has been reached. That differs from currently-widely-available haptic feedback because the vibration is in the screen itself and not the entire device.

  • Why would you be dragging your finger across the screen, looking for a button? If you were already touching the screen, how would you then 'press' the button?
  • My touchscreen is sticky, but I guess it has more to do with reading the news while eating honey toasts at brekfast.
  • i wonder if something similar could be done using static cling effects. But then i guess that would mess up the use of Capacitive screens (unless the system was clever enough to eliminate the noise from the active sections).

  • This is the method that the Wiimote already uses to let you 'feel' the buttons or letters on the screen. It works well. When you get the edge of a button, you feel a 'bump'. From reading the article, this appears to be exactly the same thing, except on a touch-screen.

  • From the description this sounds the same as Alpine PulseTouch which came out for their in-car media units several years ago

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