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Rumor: Apple's 'iPhone 6' to sport localized haptic feedback, linear oscillating motor

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
According to the latest rumblings out of East Asia, Apple's next iPhone will come with an advanced vibration unit that can provide varying levels of haptic feedback in specific areas of the handset's screen.


iPhone 4S linear oscillating motor (top) versus iPhone 5 rotating mass vibrator. | Source: Phone Arena


A report from Chinese language website Laoyaoba, spotted by GforGames, cites inside sources as saying Apple's next-generation iPhone will feature tactile feedback functionality, also known as haptic feedback.

Labeled as a "secret weapon," the system is said to be driven by a linear oscillating motor, much like the unit found in the iPhone 4S. With specialized algorithms, the motor can produce vibrations at varying levels of intensity, such as "soft" vibrations for taps or more violent movements for applications like gaming. Together with customized apps, tactile feedback can provide a more immersive experience for the user.

Sources noted that the purported iPhone 6 motor would cost some two to three times more than the unit used in Apple's current iPhone 5s, suggesting the component is more complicated and capable than its predecessor. It should be noted that the iPhone 5s uses a rotating mass type vibrator, which produces more motion and noise than a linear oscillator.

AppleInsider reported on an Apple patent from 2009 that used multiple synchronized motors to deliver location-specific haptic feedback. Using the tech, an iPhone would be able to produce vibratory feedback at the specific point, or points, where a user makes contact with the screen.

Apple is widely expected to launch redesigned 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch iPhone models when the handset's refresh cycle comes around in September. Thought to sport a thinner design with rounded edges more in line with the latest iPad products, the iPhone 6 is also likely to come with a more powerful "A8" SoC to run Apple's next-generation iOS 8.

Some analysts believe Apple is looking to differentiate the larger 5.5-inch model by incorporating high end parts like optical image stabilization and an exclusive 128GB storage option.

While the handset has yet to be announced, rumors claim the next iPhone will debut on either Sept. 19 or Sept. 25.
post #2 of 23

I hope the iPhone 6's only "secret weapon" isn't more vibrations.

post #3 of 23
Rumors/patents are coming fast and furious lately. Great time to be an iPhone user and Apple shareholder.
post #4 of 23
Thats not exactly haptic feedback is it? I thought that haptic feedback was like the videos in the past that showed sandpaper on a webpage and you could actually feel it on the touch screen? Or is that all done with simply a vibration?

Thats what I have been waiting for! Feel hair or sandpaper, etc on your touch screen. Would be pretty unreal!
post #5 of 23
True or not, it's so funny I was imagining this exact functionality for the iPhone 6 just yesterday... bizarre.

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post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by cashxx View Post

Thats not exactly haptic feedback is it? I thought that haptic feedback was like the videos in the past that showed sandpaper on a webpage and you could actually feel it on the touch screen? Or is that all done with simply a vibration?

Thats what I have been waiting for! Feel hair or sandpaper, etc on your touch screen. Would be pretty unreal!


Or imagine using haptic feedback to simulate physical controls (buttons, sliders, dials) on a screen, allowing the user to locate and activate them solely by touch.

post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by freediverx View Post
 

Or imagine using haptic feedback to simulate physical controls (buttons, sliders, dials) on a screen, allowing the user to locate and activate them solely by touch.

 

Exactly. What's the point of merely having it vibrate when touching something, as when you're typing? "Oo, I touched something! But I don't know what it was." What's the point? After all, it's not like most people can't feel their finger actually touch the screen.


Edited by EWTHeckman - 7/10/14 at 6:47am
post #8 of 23
This would be a tremendous advantage for blind users also.

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post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by cashxx View Post

Thats not exactly haptic feedback is it? I thought that haptic feedback was like the videos in the past that showed sandpaper on a webpage and you could actually feel it on the touch screen? Or is that all done with simply a vibration?

Thats what I have been waiting for! Feel hair or sandpaper, etc on your touch screen. Would be pretty unreal!

Or imagine being able to feel the texture of expertly stitched, fine Corinthian leather, the felt of a game table or linen!
post #10 of 23
Just one more thing to suck down battery life.
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by EWTHeckman View Post

Exactly. What's the point of merely having it vibrate when touching something, as when you're typing? "Oo, I touched something! But I don't know what it was." What's the point? After all, it's not like most people can't feel their finger actually touch the screen.

You also need a pressure sensor to differentiate between pressing and touching 1wink.gif
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobSchlob View Post

Just one more thing to suck down battery life.

LRAs are, at least, 10% more energy efficient than rotating mass brushless motors.

post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric38 View Post

Rumors/patents are coming fast and furious lately. Great time to be an iPhone user and Apple shareholder.

The rumor industry promises features that Apple has to deliver. That's not fair, is it?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by cashxx View Post

Thats not exactly haptic feedback is it? I thought that haptic feedback was like the videos in the past that showed sandpaper on a webpage and you could actually feel it on the touch screen? Or is that all done with simply a vibration?

Thats what I have been waiting for! Feel hair or sandpaper, etc on your touch screen. Would be pretty unreal!

It just means relating to the sense of touch. What you're talking about is something so far down the road that it's still science-fiction. All we're talking about here is the ability to be able to discern a border based on touch because of the controlled vibrations even though it's just your finger on glass or crystal.

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post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobJohnson View Post

I hope the iPhone 6's only "secret weapon" isn't more vibrations.

Speak for self, I can't wait to try out this new vibrating tech in my, uh, pocket.
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post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by EWTHeckman View Post

What's the point? After all, it's not like most people can't feel their finger actually touch the screen.

Apparently you've never tried ecstasy.
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post #17 of 23
Not sure how useful localized haptic feedback would be. You'll only touch the screen in one, two, or three spots at most anyway. How would you know that the rest of the screen *isn't* vibrating?

Or maybe the vibration feels like a "point." Kind of like the dots on the F and J keys on most keyboards. Now *that* would be useful. It would make typing feel a little more organic, it would make tap targets more tactile, and it would make the iPhone (and iPad presumably) feel more "alive." Far more than just general vibration does now.

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post #18 of 23
50% chance Samsung will release a phone with localized haptic feedback, linear oscillating motor before Apple and 80% chance all Android phones will have it next year.
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

The rumor industry promises features that Apple has to deliver. That's not fair, is it?

Sure it is, Apple is a very secretive company when it comes to their furure products, because of this secrecy though it has forced the media, bloggers and frankly us to resort too speculation. Now those speculations are not always favorable to Apple because it creates false expectations but Apple can't have it both ways. As humans we are curious by nature, even the most leveled headed among us get over zealous at times when it pertains to things he or she is passionate about. If you have a problem with these rumors as in a sense ruins Christmas for you, simply not visiting such sites that contains news about Apple rumors is as easy as ignoring them.
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryant NorCal View Post

50% chance Samsung will release a phone with localized haptic feedback, linear oscillating motor before Apple and 80% chance all Android phones will have it next year.

Actually haptic feedback isn't anything new, Immersion for instance is close to releasing their Motiv technology to Android phone manufactures. Companies like Samsung and Google have invested in this technology back in 2010 and a Samsung tablet is used in Motiv's Sdk kit. Blackberry even tried haptic feedback in their Storm series of phones. Though Apple will be to mass produce phones with good haptic feedback, they are defiantly not the ones to come up with the idea of haptic feedback or first to implement it. So if Android phones do get it in the near future, Apple may be responsible for pushing the technology but saying they are just copying Apple just isn't true. Good haptic feedback is the goal of every mobile phone and tablet manufacture and has been for years. It is also more then likly that Apple is using Immersion as they are also partners.
Edited by Relic - 7/10/14 at 1:18pm
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post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by aylk View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobSchlob View Post

Just one more thing to suck down battery life.

LRAs are, at least, 10% more energy efficient than rotating mass brushless motors.

Yes I know (and the article even says so). I was referring to the superfluous use of.

post #22 of 23

when i worked in nokia design, on a trip to japan 10 years ago, i met with panasonic and they had set up a conference room with a huge layout of hardware UI parts. they had a "haptic feedback" demo, basically a mobile with a screen that was on, and when you touched the screen, the "hammer" would fire. 

 

i gotta say - it was mind-blowing. the effect was *no different* from pressing a physical button. without having tried it myself, i wouldn't have really understood someone telling me about the experience. from that second, it seemed obvious to me that they'd be used in every touchscreen everywhere, but for some reason, that didn't happen (too early, physical restrictions, wear to the screen... who knows). if apple is doing this, it will really enhance the user experience. 

post #23 of 23
I'd love a much gentler vibration. I don't need my iPhone to take off.
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