Artificial Muscle makes touchy devices burlier
In the future we envision artificial muscle driving our cybernetic soldiers and helping to repair our fleshier ones. In the present, though, it seems the tech is starting a little smaller, at least it is in the case of Artificial Muscle (the company), which has developed tech enabling a silicon film to expand or contract when a voltage is applied to it. It's currently being used to create small pumps and linear actuators and the like, and is now is being pitched as a solution for feedback in touch-sensitive devices. The silicon film is thin enough to be inserted beneath a touchpad or touchscreen, moving the surface appropriately depending on what you're stroking on-screen as shown in a video demonstration below. Impressively this tech will only cost "a couple dollars" to add to any given device, meaning even cheap netbooks could start coming with fidgity touchpads soon. Now that is progress.