Mophie pulse promises haptic feedback and audio boost for the iPod touch
By Pawel Piejko
July 14, 2011
While the iPod touch 4G is known for its gaming capabilities, it doesn't support haptic feedback, which could enhance the mobile gaming experience. Unveiled at CES 2011, the mophie pulse is aimed at changing that. It's an iPod touch case that utilizes ViviTouch technology, in order to generate tactile feedback in the form of various touchscreen vibrations synchronized with in-game sound effects.
Today's mobile gaming devices use "one-buzz-fits-all vibration," according to Artificial Muscle, Inc., the company behind ViviTouch. The technology featured in the pulse promises a more realistic experience, by offering a number of vibrations which are distinguishable from each other. For example, a rolling pinball has a different touch sensation than a running engine, as well as a big explosion or a "sharp blade slicing through fruit."
The tactile feedback is generated via in-game sounds, therefore there's no need to adapt existing games to the mophie pulse case. The ViviTouch API is available, however, to developers who wish to optimize their games for the technology. The pulse also features a pair of stereo speakers, although there are no additional control buttons that could enable converting an iPod into a portable gaming console.
ViviTouch features Electroactive Polymer (EAP) technology to generate haptic feedback sensations in 50-300 Hz frequency range, which can be felt within a 5 millisecond delay. Artificial Muscle also claims it requires less energy than comparable tactile feedback technologies on the market.
The Mophie pulse iPod touch case will arrive in stores "later this year" and this will be "the first commercial application" of ViviTouch technology, according to the company. There's no word on support for any version of iPhone, iPad or other devices, or on pricing at this point.