Feeds

Will Apple's iPad 3 HD touch you in a special way?

Senseg-made haptic textures rumoured

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Updated The cryptic teaser - "And touch" - in Apple's invitation for its much-hyped event today has prompted speculation that the screen on its next-generation iPad will be a silky, lumpy riot of shifting textures that will delight the spasming fingertips of those lucky enough to fondle it.

iPad launch invite, credit Apple

We have something for you to see. And touch. And buy. Again and again.

It's predicted that the new tablet will use a haptic screen. The rumour is backed up by evidence that Apple has been working with a sensory display company called Senseg, whose boffins have designed touchscreens that feature complex software-changeable per-pixel textures: the sensations run from corrugation to smoothness or softness.

The Reg wrote about Senseg last week after bumping into the bumpy team at Mobile World Congress. Our man Bill Ray explained how it works:

The technique is horrifyingly clever, an electrostatic charge is used to pull one's finger infinitesimally closer to the screen on demand, which manifests as apparent lumps and bumps on the screen replicating (in the demonstration) fabric, corrugations, or even fur.

However, given Bill's analysis of the technology, it doesn't sound as though it's quite ready for an alpha launch:

The effect is not perfect by any means, and at its most basic is comparable to the kind of vibrational haptics being advocated by Immersion. However the fact that the vibration is delivered to the finger, rather than the device, is a compelling differentiation and makes the experience a lot more comfortable.

Apple doesn't usually go for beta-level tech - unless, perhaps, Apple hasn't build the new iPad to offer textures as complex as fur and will only enable primitive effects.

However the "touch" in the invitation could simply refer to the fact that the next iPad will have a new high-definition touchscreen - or simply a physical presence. Something not to be taken for granted in these days of machine virtualisation. ®

Updated to add

The new iPad's actual specs are right here.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
VVOL update: Are any vendors NOT leaping into bed with VMware?
It's not yet been released but everyone thinks it's the dog's danglies
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.