One of the biggest problems with touchscreen devices for many users is the fact that the touchscreen has no tactile feedback by itself. While you can feel physical buttons, there's nothing on the touchscreen but a smooth surface. Many manufacturers have turned to tactile solutions such as haptic feedback via vibration. Immersion is one of the best-known companies in the tactile effect and feedback market.
Immersion has announced new tactile effect solutions that are designed to communicate physical presence, emotion, and realism to users of touchscreen devices. The company has announced new build-time interface solutions for OEM manufacturers designed to enrich the interactive mobile experience for users. One of the new experiences is designed to convey physical presence.
The physical presence feature is called the Tactile Presence solution and is available as an API that calls on low-power haptics. This feature creates and transmits tactile information between two devices adding a sense of physical presence. The feature allows users to feel the remote actions of another user through the application of dynamic tactile effects. This feature will create things like vibration feedback to go along with a LOL sent via a text message.
The same system can also be used for interactive gaming allowing players to sense remote partner actions. This is an interesting development that opens the door to allow two players separated by a huge distance who are playing a cooperative game to feel which direction the other player is going. The new Tactile Presence API is optimized to work with the Immersion TouchSense 5000 embedded software for high-definition haptics. The system transmits the tactile information via a mobile network or Wi-Fi and is expected to be available for OEM partners in the second half of 2013.