Fujitsu gets touchy-feely with haptic tablet

The prototype can convey the feel of rough textures like an alligator's skin

Fujitsu has developed a prototype haptic tablet that uses ultrasound to create a sensation of texture on the screen.

Fujitsu has developed a prototype haptic tablet that uses ultrasound to create a sensation of texture on the screen.

Fujitsu has developed a prototype tablet that lets users feel realistic textures of images displayed on the screen.

The 10.1-inch haptic tablet is the first of its kind to use ultrasonic vibrations to create a sense of tactile sensations, according to Fujitsu.

It can convey a feeling of slipperiness or roughness that could accompany images such as a wet surface or the skin of an alligator.

Other companies have created similar prototypes, but Fujitsu Laboratories' take on the idea uses ultrasound to change the friction between the touchscreen and the user's finger.

To create a floating, slippery effect, the tablet generates a high-pressure air layer just above the screen. That reduces friction and creates the illusion of slipperiness.

To create a bumpy or rough effect, the device generates high- and low-friction zones through ultrasonic vibrations. The tactile, visual and audio sensations can create a rich illusion.

"Fujitsu's method of using ultrasonic vibrations achieves an unprecedented slippery sensation, while keeping noise to a minimum," a Fujitsu spokesman said.

"We are proud of the advanced audio and visual technologies our products offer, and with this new technology, we are exploring ways to appeal to even more senses for a more complete experience."

The spokesman emphasized the technology is still at an early stage of development, but applications might include electronic catalogs that would generate a sense of texture for their products.

Musical applications could be another use. A version of the prototype on display at Mobile World Congress 2014, which kicked off Monday in Barcelona, Spain, gives users the sensation of plucking the strings of a koto, a traditional stringed instrument from Japan.

The spokesman would not elaborate on how the technology might be commercialized or how something like a haptic digital catalog might be produced. He said the company is reviewing the possibility of creating customized haptic sensations.

Fujitsu is planning to continue its research on the tablet, however, with an eye to commercializing it in the company's fiscal 2015.

In 2012, mobile carrier NTT DoCoMo launched the Medias Tab UL N-08D. Manufactured by NEC, it contains HD Reverb haptic technology by Immersion.

Finland's Senseg has also developed haptic tablet technology.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags tabletsFujitsuhardware systemspopular scienceconsumer electronics

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tim Hornyak

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?