I had a chance to play with Senseg‘s feelable technology today – here’s a quick video showing it off.
The guys are (naturally) cagey about their product launch, but here’s what I was able to glean.
- It will be multi-touch compatible.
- The tablet appeared to be Android – that’s just the demo unit though.
- Developer tools will be available.
- Consumer launch in the first half of 2013. So I guess that makes it unlikely for the iPhone 5.
- It may have a brand name associated with it – but they wouldn’t say what. I’d guess something like “RealFeel” or similar.
- They may be offering a retro-fit product.
- Senseg have a truly amazing product, unlike anything I’ve ever tried before.
Having played with it, I have mixed feelings. There’s no doubt that the tech works. You feel the vibration directly under your finger. Running your digits over the various surfaces gives the distinct impression of subtly different textures. I’m reminded of Immersion’s “Motiv” haptic API – developers need help to craft “realistic” vibration based feedback. Senseg need to make sure that their SDK can be used by developers to create interesting sensations.
There is a risk that app developers will over-use this technology and make every single screen element vibrate, which would be highly annoying. There is also a risk that the vibrations aren’t differentiated enough – and everything reacts in a similar way.
But, overall, I love the tech. It adds an extra dimension to the existing touchscreen technology. I’m looking forward to playing with it further.