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FingerFlux system uses magnets to add tactile feedback to touchscreens

Donald Melanson, @donmelanson
October 26, 2011
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We've seen a number of efforts that promise to make touchscreens more tactile, but none quite like this so-called FingerFlux system developed by a team of researchers from Germany's Aachen University. Its hook is a layer of magnets that lie beneath the touchscreen and react to a simple thimble that the user must wear. While that particular accoutrement could be considered a slight drawback, it does open up a number of interesting possibilities -- including the ability to draw your finger towards an item on the screen, and "lock" it in a certain area. What's particularly key, however, is that you're also able to feel a bit of feedback before you even touch the screen -- as opposed to other entirely screen-based options -- which could could let you operate something like media player controls without actually looking at your phone. Of course, it's all still a long ways from being shrunk down to phone-size, but the researchers do have a working prototype in a table-top device. Check it out in the video after the break.





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