Nokia Patents Directional Haptics

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It's been revealed that engineers from Nokia have filed a patent for a new type of haptic feedback system. The design shows a matrix of actuators that are mechanically isolated from each other. The way in which this is intended to work is to create a sense of something moving linearly or circularly on the device. Anyone who has listened to Nokia's Marko Ahtisaari speak about user experience and interaction with devices will know that there is an agenda in Nokia to create devices that save the user from constantly having their 'head down' in their device.

So far, the realisation of this has come in the form of user interface patterns. However, this "Direction Sensation Haptic Motion" design provides a way in which a device can provide information to you without requiring you to look at the screen. Of course, audible alerts can already do this, but they are not always practical in noisy environments and can even have safety implications. Take the example of pedestrian navigation, as you feel the point of vibration move across your device in your hand, you could interpret it as direction to follow.

It's not clear whether this directional haptic motion is intended to be beneath the screen of the device, or on the back on the device. It's certain that it is going to be yet another component competing for space in the already cramped smartphones of tomorrow.

[Via Engadget]

Source / Credit: USPTO