Menu
Microsoft pioneers tactile display technology

Microsoft pioneers tactile display technology

Microsoft has patented a display technology that shifts under the user's touch

Possibly leapfrogging today's touch-screen technologies, Microsoft has figured out a way to make the computer displays themselves change in shape under a person's touch.

Microsoft filed an application last week with the U.S. patent office for a tactile display technology it calls a "Light-Induced Shape-Memory Polymer Display Screen."

Such a display could generate small ridges and textures on its surface that could work as navigation guides. For instance, the display could provide a virtual keyboard that could give users the feel of an actual keyboard, the patent application states.

To make this happen, the display itself would contain a "topography-changing layer" comprised of something called shape-memory polymers, which change shape depending on the ultraviolet light signal received. The system would require a topography-changing engine to supply the light signals.

Erez Kikin-Gil, a Microsoft senior user experience designer, is listed as inventor of the technology.

Presumably, the technology could be used as part of the Microsoft Surface systems, which are table-sized computers with large touchscreens that the company markets for interactive display duties.

Industry observers have noted that the technology, at least in theory, would also be feasible on smaller devices.

"There would be no more reason for mobile keypads -- they would simply be emulated when necessary," said Patrick Baudisch, a University of Potsdam in Germany display interaction expert, in an interview with New Scientist magazine.

Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the technology.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoftlegalpopular scienceintellectual propertypatentdisplaysComponents

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel

Reseller News honoured the leading female front runners of the New Zealand channel at the 2018 Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) in Auckland. The awards honoured standout individuals across seven categories, spanning Entrepreneur; Innovation; Rising Star; Shining Star; Community; Technical and Achievement.

Meet the leading female front runners of the Kiwi channel
Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners

Microsoft honoured leading partners across the channel following a year of customer innovation and market growth in New Zealand. The 2018 Microsoft Partner Awards recognised excellence within the context of the end-user, spanning a host of emerging and established providers.

Meet the top performing customer-centric Microsoft channel partners
Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch

Introducing the Reseller News Innovation Awards, launched to the channel at the 2018 Judges’ Lunch in Auckland. With more than 70 judges now part of the voting panel, the new-look awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors.

Reseller News launches new-look Awards at 2018 Judges’ Lunch
Show Comments