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Apple to introduce haptics to iPhone

Apple to introduce haptics to iPhone

Rumour has it that Immersion CEO Clent Richardson's first major sale is to his old buddies at Apple.

According to a report over at CNet citing “an anonymous Apple employee”, everyone's favourite fashion accessory cum communicator is due to get haptic feedback technology courtesy of specialists Immersion.

As it stands, the iPhone is equipped with a simple vibrator – no sniggering in the back row, thank you very much – which it uses to signal an incoming call or a triggered alarm. So far, so like every other mobile phone since the nineties.

The rumour, as it stands, is that Apple are hoping to improve the usability of its on-screen keyboard – which owners seem to find the worst part of the whole iPhone 'experience' – by introducing feedback when a button is pressed. Basically, you click a key on the touchscreen and actually feel something 'click' via the vibration function.

It's something that Immersion has a certain amount of expertise in doing – the company has already released the VibeTonz – yes, that's honestly what they called it – software which has been deployed in upwards of ten million mobile phones. Presumably it's this tech that Apple are looking to buy in.

It's not inconceivable that Apple would want to get the expertise to do such a thing from someone who has already been there – especially when you take into account that Immersion's current CEO, Clent Richardson, spent five years working at Apple prior to his move.

While haptic feedback wouldn't suddenly make critics of the iPhone change their tune, it would demonstrate Apple's willingness to improve a product that even its most stalwart fans admit has certain drawbacks.

Now let's just keep our fingers crossed for a sensibly-priced 3G model, hey?

Any iPhone owners here hoping that haptic feedback will be the saviour of the on-screen keyboard, or have you all got used to it as it is? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

9 Comments

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p3n 28th April 2008, 07:51 Quote
hmm I wonder if they intend on having any sort of differing feedback depending on what key is pressed, otherwise its getting turned off as swifly as the dumb key sounds.
CardJoe 28th April 2008, 08:20 Quote
Surely using the vibration motor that much more for such a basic and reptitive task is going to have an effect on battery life though?
Bauul 28th April 2008, 09:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by CardJoe
Surely using the vibration motor that much more for such a basic and reptitive task is going to have an effect on battery life though?

I dunno, a big fancy touch-LCD probably uses up far more electricity than a little rotary motor.
Gunsmith 28th April 2008, 10:39 Quote
prefer the viewty to an ipone but thats just me.
xion 28th April 2008, 11:34 Quote
i didn't thisnk this function was all that important, until i tried using my viewty with this switched off... such a simple idea makes so muh difference
Jordan Wise 28th April 2008, 13:24 Quote
yeah the feedbacks great on the viewty, just wish the menu's didn't lag as much
Atomic 28th April 2008, 13:41 Quote
The iPhone doesn't have this already!

I've no idea how you guys type on it, the viewty without it is just so hard to type on.
Nova 28th April 2008, 14:54 Quote
i have the LG Glimmer, when i press a key on the touch pad i get this feed back. i really like it. so im assuming most iphone owners will as well. as long as the option is there to turn it off, i dont think it will matter.
rhuitron 2nd May 2008, 09:56 Quote
Ummmmmm.

"everyone's favourite fashion accessory cum communicator is due to get haptic feedback technology courtesy of specialists Immersion.

As it stands, the iPhone is equipped with a simple vibrator – no sniggering in the back row, thank you very much –"

How can I not?
We are talking about, Cum Communicator, Vibrators, and Apple, The most homosexually based company in the world.
Due to the Direct influence it takes from San Francisco, ca.
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