This is intense. Are you seated? Of course you’re seated, that’s a stupid question – who stands around in their laundry room reading tech news? Anyway, if, in the unlikely event you are not seated, you would like to be, please take this opportunity, because I’m about to let fly with some totally rad shizz all up in your eyeballs, or something, and I’d hate for you to, like, fall and break your wrist on the awesome I just spread all over the floor.
What a mess of an opening paragraph. Anyway, seems Microsoft is taking the concept of ‘touchscreen’ to its logical conclusion with a new patent, which will allow objects to be actually felt. I’m not talking, like, that Toshiba patent I rapped about awhile ago, with the electrical currents, but honest-to-Cthulhu felt.
The screen described in the patent, according to New Scientist, uses plastic cells that can raise individually, giving tactile feedback – which would certainly make touchscreen devices, finally, once and for all, a viable gaming platform (buttons!) and even provide the visually impaired a way to read content via braille. A polymer sprayed on the underside of the plastic pixels is UV-reactive, and depending on the wavelength of light striking said underside, the pixel will raise to whatever height. It’s pretty cool stuff.
No telling when this shape shifting screen tech will be ready for prime time, but of note is that there’s no way currently to adapt this tech to mobile devices, due to the resolution of the, er… touch-touchscreen. It’s definitely designed with big screens in mind.
The Microsoft Surface just got a whole lot more wicked awesome.