Nokia, I take it back. When you showed your 2008 concept video last month, I mentioned it was all strikingly iPhone-esque; now, I’ve seen the light and I realise you’re actually leading, not following. Yes, the phone in the video has a vaguely Apple theme to the UI, but we now know it does what Cupertino can’t do: proper, spatially-contextual haptic feedback.
“The basic technology is not that difficult. We inserted two small piezo sensor pads under the screen and engineered in a 0.1mm movement in the screen itself. What’s taken the time has been fine tuning the movement and response to mimic exactly the sensation of pressing a real key” Roope Takala, Senior Program Manager, Nokia Research
The lucky swines at The Red Ferret Journal got their fingertips on an N770 Internet Tablet that has been modified with the haptic screen – currently named Haptikos – and came away seemingly stunned at how usable it made on-screen buttons and keyboards. It seems Nokia have done what was previously-considered impossible: make typing on a touchscreen as straightforward as using a proper keyboard:
“Each press of a key returned a clunky click and tactile snap on the touchscreen, which made typing feel incredibly responsive and very usable on the smooth screen surface. In fact it was hard to remember that you were using a touchscreen keyboard” The Red Ferret Journal
Expect to see the haptic technology on the S60 Touch cellphone featured in the Nokia video, perhaps even with advancements in tactile response for dragging/sliding and art programmes.
Nokia perfects the clicky tactile touchscreen [The Red Ferret Journal]