Just hours before Apple unveiled its third-generation iPad this year, a report came out suggesting that the tablet could feature some sort of new haptic “touch-feedback” display.

Obviously, the story never materialized. But as it turns out, Apple is looking into it. The company has had over 4 patents published this year on haptics, including this one…

PatentlyApple points to a newly published invention from Apple regarding a “linear vibrator providing localized haptic feedback.” Here’s an excerpt from the description:

“Further, the vibrator may be configured to be activated when a user touches a particular portion of a touch-sensitive screen of the mobile phone. When the user’s touch or near-touch is sensed in the appropriate area of the screen, the vibrator may be activated in a boosted mode, thereby providing localized haptic feedback directly under the area in which the touch was sensed. In this manner, the localized haptic feedback may serve to confirm the touch to the user, for example by emulating the feeling of pressing a button.”

This particular patent application, #20120223824, was originally filed in the first quarter of this year, with Fletcher Rothkopf named as the inventor, and was published Thursday.

There’s obviously a million ways Apple could implement this kind of technology into its mobile devices. But the question is: should it? Is there a need for haptic in touch screens?

I think if it’s done right, it could make a positive impact — especially in gameplay.

What do you think?

  • sackboy

    Doesn’t the iPhone have this already? o.O

    • Donovan Davis

      With a jailbreak

      • FrankensteinBlack

        HapticPro via Cydia

      • Manuel Angel

        It hasn’t been updated since October 2011. I use to have it but Ryan gave up on the project (he has a million other tweaks to handle, so it’s understandable to some degree).

      • No more Obama

        i have it and it works great. no problems what so ever. perhaps it will use a bit more battery as your phone is vibrating quite a bit more but it hasn’t been a problem for me. HapticPro one of my favorite tweaks. my wife doesn’t like it, but i’m a fan 🙂

      • Manuel Angel

        There is an issue with some CDMA iPhones and haptic.

  • Johnathan Jennings

    I had it from cydia and I just didn’t like it.. Touchscreens don’t need haptic feedback

    • a smit

      I think this is different – it says localized so I assume it means in the area you touch is where you feel the feedback

      i could be wrong thou

  • This article is talking about a Haptic feed back that doesn’t vibrate the whole phone, just the part you touch on the screen… Last I checked the iPhone can’t do that right now, even with tweaks.

  • Mina Nour

    @google-4662de9d971b8f35f79de61fae68a13e:disqus is right; they mean the vibrating will only happen under your finger, where you touched the screen. Not the entire phone shaking when you touch anywhere on the screen. Ie. if your keypad is up and you touch the letter ‘Z’ only under your finger where letter ‘Z’ is, it will vibrate, the rest on the phone wont shake. Thats how i understood it anyways.

  • macboy74

    They can keep it. Didn’t like it on any device I ever had last one being my old android phone. IMO it adds nothing to the device. If they do it just make it optional to be turned off and on.

    • Yeh I hate global haptic feedback but if it is localised and emulate the real button press feel then I would be all for it.

  • motuness12

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DO NOT INCORPORATE HAPTIC FEEDBACK ON THE CAPACATIVE BUTTONS OR AT LEAST INCLUDE A TOTALLY DISABLE FEATURE. We exchanged a Nokia Lumia 900 which we absolutely loved, for an iphone because there was no HF at all.

    We will not re-purchase an iphone if we are forced into an upgrade with haptic feedback as a feature in the OS. We have a nerve sensitivity health issue and our hands tremored after ten minutes of use with the Lumia. If we cannot find an iphone, android, windows, htc, etc., w/o this feature, we would rather downgrade to a regular phone when our 2 year ATT agreement is over. Peace.

  • geekywayne

    Huh. I would actually LOVE this. It is one of the primary reasons keeping me from moving from Android to the iPhone (wold also like Swift-Key or Swype-like fucntionality as well). I suppose it’s all about individual preferences and what you’re used to.