Microsoft Research developing 3D touchscreen with tactile feedback

The technology of adding tactile feedback to touchscreens is nothing new; many smartphone display give owners a way to "feel" when their finger is touching an app icon. But what about larger 3D monitors that could be used for PCs?

That's what a team at Microsoft Research is developing at the moment. In a post on the group's website, it offers details on what they call the Actuated 3-D Display with Haptic Feedback. In addition to the touchscreen itself, the project also includes a robotic arm that moves back and forwards depending on the force that is used to touch the display.

An example of how this haptic touchscreen works is shown in the video above. The user touches a cube that in the computer is supposed to be made of stone, and therefore heavy. It takes more effort to move the "stone" cube in the display with a finger than it does to move another virtual cube that is supposed to be made of a sponge material.

Yet another demo showcased how the display is used with a scan of a person's brain. The user can push the display back and forth to see different layers of the brain scan. If there is a tumor detected in the brain scan, the user can "feel" the anomaly by sensing it on the display via the haptic features. Microsoft Research says this kind of technology could be used in health care, along with 3D modeling, education and even in 3D gaming.

Source: Microsoft Research

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11 Comments

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Enron said,
They have a division that usually brings all of it to market many years later. I think it's called Apple.

This is a beautiful comment.

"The technology of adding tactile feedback to touchscreens is nothing new; many smartphone display give owners a way to "feel" when their finger is touching an app icon"

Show me one commercial phone that use a tactile smartphone display.

Jarrichvdv said,
"The technology of adding tactile feedback to touchscreens is nothing new; many smartphone display give owners a way to "feel" when their finger is touching an app icon"

Show me one commercial phone that use a tactile smartphone display.

Common. The vibrate motor gives a buzz. Certainly that's the same thing.

Jarrichvdv said,
"The technology of adding tactile feedback to touchscreens is nothing new; many smartphone display give owners a way to "feel" when their finger is touching an app icon"

Show me one commercial phone that use a tactile smartphone display.

BlackBerry Storm, duh....and that was years ago now...

Right, they are not the exact same thing, but they are the same concept, newer concepts being built off of older ones (as is the case with all technology)

Sraf said,
Right, they are not the exact same thing, but they are the same concept, newer concepts being built off of older ones (as is the case with all technology)

It doesn't appear to be related to all. The vibration feedback is just a little electric motor with a weight on it and nothing to do with the screen.