Sony develops tactile feedback display for smartphones

Sony recently showcased a touch-panel capable of generating tactile feedback by detecting the amount of pressure applied to a mobile smartphone display.

According to Nikkei’s Tech On, the panel accurately detects X and Y coordinates, as well as Z-axis pressure.

“In the demonstration, the speed of switching icons displayed on the screen was changed by changing the pressure applied to the panel. As the pressure became stronger, the icons were switched faster,” explained Nikkei’s Tadashi Nezu.

“For the tactile feedback function, actuators using piezoelectric elements were employed. Compared with the case where the eccentric motor of a mobile phone is used, they can realize a faster response speed, offering a comfortable operation.”

Nezu added that the actuators functioned by vibrating the touch panel in the z-axis direction when they detected an input.

“The amplitude of the vibration is as small as 30μm, but the company claims it can be easily felt by humans.”