Friday, 27 January 2012
Reprogrammable magnetic fluids lets you feel virtual keyboard physically
A virtual keyboard is just that – technically speaking, you are not supposed to be able to feel the keys when your fingers glide all over them as you type in the necessary characters to form that long Word document, right? Not so if Apple has their way, perhaps some time down the road. It seems that Apple did apply for a patent which details a system that employs coded magnets and ferrofluids, resulting in haptic feedback on a touchscreen or virtual keyboard. For example, a coded magnet could be activated when a proximity sensor detects a finger approaching a touchpad or other surface that is full well capable of detecting a touch. Within a certain closeness, the proximity sensor’s output will kick start a coded magnet located beneath the portion of the surface that is about to be impacted. This coded magnet will then draw ferrofluid to it, which means the upper portion of the surface will rise. I do hope that the technology is fast enough to accommodate all of you speed typists out there, otherwise it would be a really awkward situation.