Touchscreens that Touch Back - Tactile Feedback Technology Creates the Perception of Pressing Physical Buttons,


September 13, 2005

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September 14, 2005 The Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas this week has seen the debut of an interesting new technology that enables touchscreens to generate tactile cues, promoting a more intuitive and engaging experience. Users perceive that on-screen buttons press and release as if they were physical buttons. In addition, TouchSense tactile sensations can be synchronized with sound and graphical images, creating a more immersive, multisensory experience. Quite clearly the technology will initially be used in the lucrative gambling industry, but we can expect much richer information kiosks and touch screen user interfaces in the future. Touchscreens are increasingly used in casino gaming devices to provide a direct and flexible user interface for on-screen buttons that dynamically change from screen to screen or game to game. Growing numbers of game machines let users choose from a variety of preloaded games. New technology will allow devices to be reconfigured by the operator in real time to tailor the mix offered to suit the time-of-day or clientele.

Developed by Immersion , the touch feedback technology being demonstrated for the casino gaming market at Global Gaming Expo (G2E) include an interactive video slot game on a 19-inch touchmonitor. The technology works with the diverse sizes and types of touchscreens commonly used for electronic gaming devices across the casino, bar-top, and amusement industries.

"Companies that develop casino games are constantly striving to innovate, differentiate, and provide a better player experience," said Immersion Vice President Mike Levin. "Our technology generates tactile cues that can help players focus on their game in the exciting, yet distracting, casino environment. We can help OEMs create a satisfying experience that keeps players engaged."

"3M is very interested in Immersion's tactile feedback technology," said Terry Jones, general manager, 3M Touch Systems. "We've developed sample demonstrations for the gaming audience integrating Immersion's technology with our MicroTouch ClearTek touchscreen so that we could show our customers how it might work in their systems and solicit their feedback at G2E."

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, (Australia's largest Telco), (Australia's largest employment site),,, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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