Newly revealed Apple patent app details dynamic Multi-Touch™ screen, gives users tactile feedback

“Apple’s forthcoming tablet could employ a dynamic surface that gives users tactile feedback when typing in order to identify individual keys, according to a new patent application revealed this week,” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider.

“Using an ‘articulating frame,’ the surface of such a device would create physical bumps or dots for the user to feel when it is in keyboard mode. Those surface features would retract and disappear when the device is not being used to type. It is detailed in an application entitled’Keystroke Tactility Arrangement on a Smooth Touch Surface,'” Hughes reports. “It is similar to an application first filed back in 2007.”

“‘The articulating frame may provide key edge ridges that define the boundaries of the key regions or may provide tactile feedback mechanisms within the key regions,’ the application reads. ‘The articulating frame may also be configured to cause concave depressions similar to mechanical key caps in the surface,'” Hughes reports.

Hughes reports, “The [possibility of a] tactile feedback keyboard [may have been] revealed as one anonymous source told The New York Times that users would be ‘surprised’ how they interact with the tablet.”

Full article, with more info and patent application illustrations, here.


  1. @MacIntosher

    That was a TERRIBLE implementation that just “clicked” the touchscreen when it was depressed.

    I’m not aware of a full implementation of a haptic touchscreen, but am looking forward to one.

  2. This strikes me as too “out there” for this generation, but I don’t understand why touch typists couldn’t train a touchscreen. Wherever your fingertips are, start typing and the tablet/virtual keyboard recognizes the distance between resting location and tap.

    It would be far from perfect, but with spelling correction it shouldn’t be too bad.

  3. “Ew, gross! Yet strangely compelling!” I wanted a haptic implementation when I bought the first generation iPhone. But now it’s not as appealing as a lot of us are comfortable without that feedback. Still, if they can do it with minimal battery drain and can still have an oleophobic coating then I’m all for it! Technology!

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