Immersion's New Haptic Touchscreen Tech Encourages Corny iPhone Romance

Haptic technology has the possibility to make touchscreens so much better, improving accuracy and adding a whole new range of sensory feedback. Immersion, primary developers of haptic technology, presented both a refined onscreen keyboard and an incredibly cheesy "Immersive Messaging" protocol at this year's All Things D conference.

The new soft keyboard improvement, called TouchSense, is designed to mimic both the feel and sound of a real, mechanical keyboard, to enable easier transitioning between keys. Immersive Messaging, on the other hand, is a cornball idea that's essentially text messaging gussied up with haptic feedback: You can send a heart design to your significant other, and he or she can feel it "beating," which kind of sounds more scary than romantic to me. They dub such icons "Hapticons." Even further, they announced "Twiddling," which is essentially a separate app in which two people can "feel" each other through haptic feedback on their iPhones. Now you see what I mean about that corny romantic nonsense.

Both TouchSense and Immersive Messaging were demonstrated on the iPhone, and the Immersion rep dodged questions about possible other platforms (*cough* WebOS *cough*) and even Immersion's immediate plans for their creations. We could see Immersive Messaging showing up as an irritating app, a theory the Immersion rep wouldn't deny. [All Things D]