A touchscreen haptic user-interface technology was presented by Tactus Technology last week at SID 2012.
The company created a Tactile Layer panel for touchscreen devices with real physical buttons, guidelines, or shapes that rise out of the surface.
The patent describes a type of flexible surface and the use of compact layers of “piezoelectric elements” that create the physical buttons.
According to Smith, we could see the implementation of such technology in Apple’s next flagship device.
“A similar technology dealing with advanced haptics and feedback is reportedly being built for Apple’s sixth-generation smartphone, presumably called the ‘iPhone 5,” he wrote.
However, even if the next iPhone won’t feature a tactile touchscreen, “it’s likely that a future iPhone will feature Tactus Technology’s dynamic touchscreens.”
“Feeling buttons or controls on a smartphone would be extremely useful for completing tasks that typically require a keyboard. … It’s an incredible and exciting technology. … But if this really is a hot technology, there’s a great chance Apple will rush to get its recently-granted patent into its next iPhone, which is expected to arrive in September or October,” he added.