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Apple in rumored talks to license vibration feedback for iPhone

post #1 of 53
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Apple has reportedly begun talks with Immersion to integrate haptic feedback into future touchscreen devices, addressing a complaint leveled against the iPhone by fans of physical buttons and keyboards.

An Apple worker has allegedly leaked to Palluxo that Immersion executives met twice with their Apple peers this week to discuss integrating Immersion's vibration response technology into the cellphone.

The meetings are said to parallel a more publicized deepening of relations between the two companies through indirect means: Immersion this week hired Clent Richardson, a former Worldwide Solutions Marketing VP at Apple between 1997 and 2001.

What exactly would be implemented is unclear. However, Immersion's most recent efforts have focused on using haptics to simulate physical button presses in an increasing number of touchscreen phones, including Sprint's soon-to-be iPhone rival, the Samsung Instinct.

The technique most frequently involves sending short, concentrated pulses through all or specific locations of a phone as the user taps buttons in software. In effect, haptics not only restore some of the feel absent in touchscreens, but also give users a way of confirming that the phone has recognized a command through more than just visual output.

A frequently-cited complaint regarding the iPhone is its lack of tactile feedback for converts from BlackBerries and other smartphones, many of whom expect the relative certainty of physical responses while navigating the interface or typing.

Neither Apple nor Immersion has commented on the rumored discussions, which are still early and so aren't expected to result in a finished product for some time.
post #2 of 53
I hope Apple works with these guys to create a typically superior implementation of this tech.

I'm not really that impressed with how it's been done so far-- seems more like a gimmick than a genuine UI improvement.

Of course, even if Apple and Immersion come up with an eerily exact simulation of a physical button press, there will be plenty of people rolling their eyes and saying "big deal, my phone has had haptics for years, welcome to 2004 Apple, lol."
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post #3 of 53
I wonder how this might affect battery life?
post #4 of 53
Well, I hope Apple figures something out. I have yet to use the iPod portion of my iPhone because I only really listen to music when I'm driving or riding my bike and I'm not going to fiddle with a screen that will distract me.

I'm not going to bring my phone and a separate iPod with me and neither would Steve.
post #5 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Well, I hope Apple figures something out. I have yet to use the iPod portion of my iPhone because I only really listen to music when I'm driving or riding my bike and I'm not going to fiddle with a screen that will distract me.

I'm not going to bring my phone and a separate iPod with me and neither would Steve.

Just out of curiosity, how do you see haptics improving things for you?

All you get is confirmation that you've touched something functional. Without any way to distinguish between somethings, don't you still have to look at your iPhone to do anything?
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They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #6 of 53
The way I imagine it working well in terms of input feel might be costly in terms of battery life.
post #7 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Just out of curiosity, how do you see haptics improving things for you?

All you get is confirmation that you've touched something functional. Without any way to distinguish between somethings, don't you still have to look at your iPhone to do anything?

Maybe you might be able to get a different sensation depending on which button you are near. But that would be hard to learn.
post #8 of 53
Why even bother with that annoying crap, i Hope they don't forget to add a option to disable it
post #9 of 53
Did anyone else notice this is AppleInsider's 4000th article? Pretty cool.
post #10 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by speed_the_collapse View Post

Did anyone else notice this is AppleInsider's 4000th article? Pretty cool.

So it is Happy something day AppleInsider!

I think Apple will do Haptic feedback differently if they do do it... We'll see...
post #11 of 53
Weehawwwh.

How about every time you f*** up your input it vibrates. That oughta piss people off to no end.
post #12 of 53
I think what REALLY needs to be done is someone important at Apple to get serious about getting typing correction dictionaries for a lot more languages. Even Mac OS X has a really modest set of dictionaries. I think typing in English on the iPhone works great, with the correction kicking in like it's intended to. But typing in for instance Norwegian (or any other unsupported languages) requires steady fingers and complete attention.
post #13 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

The way I imagine it working well in terms of input feel might be costly in terms of battery life.

I'm sure they'd have an option to turn it off.
post #14 of 53
The important word is "rumored", I don't need or want this. And I don't think the iPhone's getting it. Just give us copy and paste for text and I'll be good. And as others have mentioned, battery life. This is yet another bullshit rumor if you ask me.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #15 of 53
First, its a touch screen so if you wanted to 'feel' your way around, you could not as the buttons would be being pressed as you 'feel'; albeit giving you feedback as you do it.

Second, why bother??? If you want tactile, buy one that has it, if you want the future, buy the iPhone. I love my iPhone and plan on upgrading to the new version quickly.

I do carry my iPhone and a Shuffle for music when driving. But if i want something particular that is on my iPhone, i switch at a red light. Which one should do rather than fiddle with their phone or iPod while driving.
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post #16 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by CREB View Post

I wonder how this might affect battery life?

It will reduce it.

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post #17 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

It will reduce it.

I think he meant how much.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #18 of 53
Just as long as you can turn this feature OFF. I've used the LG Voyager that can vibrate when you pressed an on-screen button. Did not like it at all. Granted I don't have an iPhone, yet, but from using both I prefer the iPhone.
post #19 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Well, I hope Apple figures something out. I have yet to use the iPod portion of my iPhone because I only really listen to music when I'm driving or riding my bike and I'm not going to fiddle with a screen that will distract me.

I'm not going to bring my phone and a separate iPod with me and neither would Steve.

Not to be rude but:

Step 1: Create a playlist in iTunes with your desired songs.
Step 2: While stationary in your car or on your bike, press play and adjust the volume.
Step 3: Drive or ride and enjoy.
post #20 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by palegolas View Post

I think what REALLY needs to be done is someone important at Apple to get serious about getting typing correction dictionaries for a lot more languages. Even Mac OS X has a really modest set of dictionaries. I think typing in English on the iPhone works great, with the correction kicking in like it's intended to. But typing in for instance Norwegian (or any other unsupported languages) requires steady fingers and complete attention.

How about the consumer learn to type/spell. That oughta be a switch.
post #21 of 53
Is that an iPhone vibrating in your pants or are you haptic to see me?
post #22 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiMiC View Post

First, its a touch screen so if you wanted to 'feel' your way around, you could not as the buttons would be being pressed as you 'feel'; albeit giving you feedback as you do it.

Second, why bother??? If you want tactile, buy one that has it, if you want the future, buy the iPhone. I love my iPhone and plan on upgrading to the new version quickly.

I do carry my iPhone and a Shuffle for music when driving. But if i want something particular that is on my iPhone, i switch at a red light. Which one should do rather than fiddle with their phone or iPod while driving.


the truth is future or not one should never deny a sense that is able to provide feedback.
Also discrimination acts mean that multiple sensory option will be required.
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post #23 of 53
Yoda?
They spoke of the sayings and doings of their commander, the grand duke, and told stories of his kindness and irascibility.
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post #24 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic_Al View Post

Is that an iPhone vibrating in your pants or are you haptic to see me?

Great line!

But seriously, I don't get the vibration feedback issue at all. As for the quote "A frequently-cited complaint regarding the iPhone is its lack of tactile feedback" is just that, a frequently cited quote. Just like "Macs cost more than PCs" or "Macs aren't compatible with PCs".
post #25 of 53
I had written apple back when the iphone was first announced about licensing the tactile feedback feature that Alpine used....I had not personally experienced it but thought it sounded cool....I am not even sure if it was a vibration technology but I guess it had to have been similar. Anyone have any experience with Alpine?
post #26 of 53
The one ting haptic is good for is instant confirmation that your phone is locked. The absence of any vibration confirms this instantly without looking at the screen. That would be helpful when playing music which I would imagine can get disengaged if its in your pocket with the phone unlocked.
Slider phones benefit from haptic very much because you can perform functions without the bottom extended provided it is unlocked (vibrating).
Could Apple be preparing for an iPhone Nano slider??
post #27 of 53
One thing I could imagine would be a simulation of the feeling you get when you lightly brush your fingers across your keyboard. Try it. Then, once you feel the button you want to hit, you can hit it harder. I am reminded by Human-Computer Interaction student Johnny Lee's Haptic Pen Demonstration.

It's a force feedback pen that when you push it down, simulates the sensation of pushing down the bottom of a retractable ball point pen. I don't fully understand how it works, but from what I understand, there is a pressure sensitive surface on the bottom of the pen and a solenoid attached to the top of the pen that registers different vibrations throughout the pen that are a function of pressure. The interesting thing is that the tip of the pen never actually retracts or moves. So it feels like your hand is going down and pushing the pen into the table. But it's only the vibrations that make it feel that way.

Again, I may have this all wrong, but I believe that some touchscreens have the ability to detect where and with what pressure you are touching the screen. I can picture a computer rendering a heat map as a function of where and how hard you touch the screen. It also appears as if the technology in AI's article lets the engineer register different vibrations in different parts of the screen.

Combine the two, and you have variable vibration in different parts of the screen in response to variable-force input. This means that the sensation you get from brushing over your phone's tactile keyboard and then registering a click by pushing harder isn't so far fetched. I can imagine the vibrations suggesting the reality of moving your finger over the edge of a button, which can really heighten the visceral experience.

The possibilities go far beyond the simple touch-a-button-and-the-screen-buzzes experience of current phones.

Could this actually work? I don't know. I haven't seen it all put together. But the idea of a fully haptic, but adapting and changeable (which is one of the iPhone's hallmarks) interface is exciting. If I would expect anyone to pull it off well, it would be Apple.
post #28 of 53
Bah. If it is haptics as implemented today like on the LG Voyager, it will be horrible. If it is a localized vibration on the screen on a per button basis, it may have a chance of being useful.

The meme about the iPhone lacking tactile feedback is kind of ridiculous. The iPhone keyboard has two or three forms of feedback: an audible click, a popup letter and the actual response of seeing the letter pressed come up in the text being written or the action that supposed to happen. Since all 3 are about as fast or is the fastest in response time to any other phone on the market, I don't think haptics will do anything for the iPhone. The sense of sight and sound is probably hundreds of times faster and more accurate than a sense of vibration. I can't see how it'll improve usability in any way unless there is the magic screen capable of inducing an illusion of touch on a per button basis on the specific point on the screen.
post #29 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

How about the consumer learn to type/spell. That oughta be a switch.

Me fail Norwegian? That's unpossible!
post #30 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by THT View Post

Bah. If it is haptics as implemented today like on the LG Voyager, it will be horrible. If it is a localized vibration on the screen on a per button basis, it may have a chance of being useful.

The meme about the iPhone lacking tactile feedback is kind of ridiculous. The iPhone keyboard has two or three forms of feedback: an audible click, a popup letter and the actual response of seeing the letter pressed come up in the text being written or the action that supposed to happen. Since all 3 are about as fast or is the fastest in response time to any other phone on the market, I don't think haptics will do anything for the iPhone. The sense of sight and sound is probably hundreds of times faster and more accurate than a sense of vibration. I can't see how it'll improve usability in any way unless there is the magic screen capable of inducing an illusion of touch on a per button basis on the specific point on the screen.

In a way, I agree. In some other ways, I don't think a virtual keyboard will have as good feedback as physical buttons. But it's about trade-offs, get a "real" keyboard and you're going to either need a smaller screen or a bulkier device. If you need a heavy-duty email device, there are other products better suited for that use. I really don't see Apple making a variant with a keyboard.
post #31 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

The way I imagine it working well in terms of input feel might be costly in terms of battery life.

I don't think so. It doesn't use much power to do this. It's not actually moving anything mechanical. Also, it's only in operation when a "key" is pressed. How much typing would you do during any given day? What would be the total key touch time? No more than a few minutes, at most.
post #32 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by speed_the_collapse View Post

Did anyone else notice this is AppleInsider's 4000th article? Pretty cool.

Screw that. I have more than three times as many posts!
post #33 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic_Al View Post

Is that an iPhone vibrating in your pants or are you haptic to see me?

Cripes!
post #34 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

I hope Apple works with these guys to create a typically superior implementation of this tech.

While I'm sure Apple will follow through on this I don't see Apple doing any better than anybody else as they can't milk a cow that is dried up. That is the whole concept is stupid.
Quote:

I'm not really that impressed with how it's been done so far-- seems more like a gimmick than a genuine UI improvement.

You hit the nail squarely on the head, this technology is nothing more than a useless gimmick. Haptic feed back tells yoou nothing about what you just did nor does it associate well with specific keys.
Quote:

Of course, even if Apple and Immersion come up with an eerily exact simulation of a physical button press, there will be plenty of people rolling their eyes and saying "big deal,

Or maybe be saying Apple why are you wasting my $$$$$ on technology that does nothing for me.
Quote:
my phone has had haptics for years, welcome to 2004 Apple, lol."

Like wise you can ask said people just what good does haptics do for them. I've yet to see a convincing argument nor a technology demo that favors haptics.

My biggest problem with Cell phones isn't getting physical feedback from the device it is being able to operate the damn thing while it is in my hands. Yeah my hands are on the big side but still most phones are just plain difficult to operate due to the tiny keys/switches. Many with physical keys do provide mechanical feedback but it is useless if you don't know which key actually got pressed. In the end I still have to do exactly what I do with a iPhone or Touch display, I have to watch what I type and make corrections.

For the iPhone a very real improvement can be had simply by making the phone a tiny bit wider. Or make sure that a horizontal keyboard is available in all modes. What makes a device useful isn't the type of keys but rather spacing and layout. The other alternative Apple has is to adopt a stylus that allows more precision.


Dave
post #35 of 53
Alpine and others have this feature on their car stereo/navigation touch screens. It's supposed to help the touch screen use. Having an electronic buzz under your fingertips does not improve accuracy. You'll end up "buzzing" on both correct and incorrect key press!

After a month I turned the feature off. I would expect others are doing the same.
post #36 of 53
I'd rather dock my IPHONE in my car... and simply say...

Play that new Leona Lewis song..

than any touch feeback censor
post #37 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmm221 View Post

I'd rather dock my IPHONE in my car... and simply say...

Play that new Leona Lewis song..

than any touch feeback censor

Oh holy God I feel bad for the rest of your music collection.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #38 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmm221 View Post

I'd rather dock my IPHONE in my car... and simply say...

Play that new Leona Lewis song..

than any touch feeback censor

Certainly, you'd be happy to get something that's harder to achieve than what's being discussed here. Voice recognition like that isn't easy. It's hard enough for common words, names are even harder.
post #39 of 53
"Play that new Leona Lewis song"

"I CERTAINLY WILL NOT! BZZT!"
post #40 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strawberry View Post

"Play that new Leona Lewis song"

"I CERTAINLY WILL NOT! BZZT!"

That was funna!
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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