Apple in rumored talks to license vibration feedback for iPhone

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    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."
  • Reply 2 of 52
    crebcreb Posts: 276member
    I wonder how this might affect battery life?
  • Reply 3 of 52
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 52
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    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?
  • Reply 5 of 52
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    The way I imagine it working well in terms of input feel might be costly in terms of battery life.
  • Reply 6 of 52
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 52
    fraklincfraklinc Posts: 244member
    Why even bother with that annoying crap, i Hope they don't forget to add a option to disable it
  • Reply 8 of 52
    Did anyone else notice this is AppleInsider's 4000th article? Pretty cool.
  • Reply 9 of 52
    eaieai Posts: 417member
    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...
  • Reply 10 of 52
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,241member
    Weehawwwh.



    How about every time you f*** up your input it vibrates. That oughta piss people off to no end.
  • Reply 11 of 52
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,276member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 52
    icfireballicfireball Posts: 2,594member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 52
    irelandireland Posts: 17,570member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 52
    mimicmimic Posts: 72member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 52
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,005member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CREB View Post


    I wonder how this might affect battery life?



    It will reduce it.
  • Reply 16 of 52
    irelandireland Posts: 17,570member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


    It will reduce it.



    I think he meant how much.
  • Reply 17 of 52
    crees!crees! Posts: 501member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 52
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 52
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,241member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 52
    magic_almagic_al Posts: 325member
    Is that an iPhone vibrating in your pants or are you haptic to see me?
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