What will happen if the touchscreen of your smartphone or tablet could touch you back? It does happen, researchers report.
In a study of people drawing their fingers over a flat surface that has two “virtual bumps”, the team from Northwestern University and Carnegie Mellon University found that, under certain circumstances, the subjects feel only one bump when there really are two.
“We want to create something that will make touch a reality for people interacting with their screens, and this work is a step in that direction,” said J Edward Colgate, an expert in touch-based (haptic) systems from Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science.
The team’s experiment presented two “virtual bumps” to subjects participating in the study. When bump and finger spacing were identical, subjects reported feeling two bumps as one.