A couple of University of Glasgow students have built a prototype of a program that brings haptic touchscreen technology to the iPhone. It's a buggy program, but even if the kinks get worked out a question remains: does anybody need it?
Haptic touchscreens, as you probably know, provide tactical feedback when a button is pressed. In this case, the phone vibrates when you hit a button. As it stands, the program is extremely buggy, crashing out and leaving the vibrations going even after you've hit the button. But even if it was running perfectly, with a short vibration coming every time you hit a button, would you want it?
First of all, having your phone vibrate almost continuously while you type a text message would be annoying. Secondly, it would suck up loads of battery life. Thirdly, it seems like it wouldn't really help at all. At this point, most iPhone users seem pretty used to the keyboard; it's not a major griping point. And while haptic feedback might come in handy for, say, selecting icons from the home screen, it's not going to allow you to select buttons or type without looking like you can with physical buttons. It seems more a gimmick than an upgrade.
What do you think? If you had the option to download a program that added haptic functionality to your iPhone, would you do it?
[Project Page via TUAW]