Microsoft has patented a new technology with applications in touch screens, which allows changing the texture of the surface of the screen to provide a physical representation of the items displayed.
The technology involves the use of plastic cells, no larger than a pixel on the screen, that respond to the application of ultraviolet light with different wavelengths by changing the shape and texture of the surface that make it up.
The screen area covered with this material can physically display items such as buttons, menus or the edges of an application window, giving the user a tactile sensation that reflects the elements displayed.
If Microsoft manages to put into practice this recently patented the discovery, we will soon be able to navigate on the touch screen interface without the need to look at the images displayed on the screen, feeling the buttons and menu items in the same way we use traditional phone keypad.
Surprisingly or not, Microsoft’s invention is not unique in the world, as similar technologies are being developed by other companies such as Nokia, Senseg and Carnegie Mellon University.
We will see which of these companies have the most successful implementation and resources needed to develop a commercial version, viable in terms of manufacturing costs.