Right now if you want any kind of haptic feedback from your iPhone, you’re out of luck. A number of Android OEMs implement a form of haptic feedback by using the phone’s vibration motor on keypresses, but it’s never felt quite right to us. Apple have reportedly filed a patent application which may solve the problem, and could already be looking into manufacturing possibilities.
Unwired View have discovered the patent application, which lays out Apple’s methods. The implementation would be able to be worked into iPhones, iPads, and Mac trackpads. The patent reveals that Apple would use piezoelectric actuators scattered underneath the iPhone’s glass, which would provide localized feedback depending on where you touch the screen. Those micro vibrations would provide the necessary feedback with UI elements, like a search bar, or more importantly, the keyboard.
While the technology behind all this isn’t new, Apple’s implementation could be different from phones of the past. The Blackberry Storm notably included a touchscreen capable of haptic feedback, although it was met with frustration from users and critics.
Finally, Apple detail in the same patent mass production manufacturing techniques that could bring the technology to fruition in a future iPhone. Unwired View speculates that Apple may already have the system working if it has been putting resources into researching mass production.