Touchscreen Technology enables tactile feedback.

Press Release Summary:



TouchSense® technology for touchscreens supplies tactile cues, allowing users to perceive that buttons depress and release. Haptic effects can vary in frequency, waveform, magnitude, and duration, enabling on-screen buttons, switches, and other controls to supply distinct sensations, facilitating discrimination by users. Tactile sensations can synchronize with sound and on-screen graphical images for improved user experience.



Original Press Release:


Immersion Provides Touch Feedback for Touchscreens


TouchSense technology supplies the confirming feel of physical buttons

BOSTON, Society for Information Display (SID), May 24, 2005 - Immersion Corporation (Nasdaq: IMMR), a leading developer and licensor of touch feedback technology, is introducing its TouchSense® technology for touchscreens at the SID Symposium. Attendees can experience touch feedback technology in a touchscreen by visiting booth 533 or attending the Exhibitors' Forum session on Wednesday, May 25, 10:30 a.m. in Exhibit Hall D.

TouchSense technology supplies tactile cues, noticeably absent in current touchscreens, providing a more intuitive, personal, and natural experience. Instead of just feeling the hard, unresponsive touchscreen surface, users perceive that buttons depress and release, just as physical buttons and switches do. This realistic and engaging response restores the rich tactile information conveyed through physical controls, such as when clicking a computer mouse, pushing a button, or depressing a membrane switch. System designers can synchronize TouchSense tactile sensations with sound and on-screen graphical images for an even more powerful user experience.

Immersion first implemented its TouchSense force feedback technology in 1996 in gaming system peripherals. Since that time, it has been incorporated into numerous computer and video console systems; medical simulation systems; rotary controls in cars from BMW, Rolls Royce, and Volkswagen; and mobile phones from Samsung. TouchSense technology for touchscreens is the latest implementation.

Applications

Many touchscreen applications can be improved or expanded with TouchSense technology. For example, menu items programmed to supply a pulse sensation or a confirming push-back response may help machine operators improve efficiency. Buttons such as Enter, Next, and other major and minor functions can supply a distinct and consistent feel throughout a kiosk application to assist consumers. And on-screen automotive controls can exhibit increasing or decreasing vibrations corresponding to fan speed, radio volume, or light level to help reduce glance time.

"TouchSense technology allows the user's sense of touch to join sight and sound for a more multisensory and engaging experience, one that can enhance performance, productivity, safety, or fun," said Dean Chang, Immersion CTO. "Touchscreen manufacturers and integrators can use this vibro-tactile, or haptic, technology to provide a more satisfying user experience for applications from automotive and industrial controls to point of sale, kiosk, and gaming."

How It Works

TouchSense technology for touchscreens involves actuators, controllers, haptic effect authoring software, and application programming interfaces (APIs) that let designers focus on haptic effect creation rather than on the mechanics of programming. When a user touches the screen, an analog signal is sent to the touchscreen controller, which supplies information on the precise screen location where contact was made. This location information is sent to the host application, which commands Immersion's haptic controller to play a specific vibro-tactile effect corresponding to the user's selection.

A key feature of TouchSense technology is that its haptic effects can vary in frequency, waveform, magnitude, and duration. The result is that all sorts of on-screen buttons, switches, and other controls can supply distinct sensations to allow greater discrimination for users and more extensive applicability for OEMs and developers. In addition, TouchSense technology can be used with all types and sizes of touchscreens, including capacitive, infrared, resistive, and surface acoustic wave, without affecting optic clarity.

Availability

Immersion will begin selling demonstration touch monitors integrated with TouchSense technology, which will be suitable for testing design concepts, in June. Development kits for integration of the technology by OEMs or system integrators are expected to be available in Q3 2005. Immersion also offers design assistance and customized services. More information about TouchSense technology for touchscreens is available at www.immersion.com/touchscreen/ or by contacting Mike Levin at 408-467-1900 or controls@immersion.com.

About Immersion (www.immersion.com)

Founded in 1993, Immersion Corporation is a recognized leader in developing, licensing, and marketing digital touch technology and products. Bringing value to markets where man-machine interaction needs to be made more compelling, safer, or productive, Immersion helps its partners broaden market reach by making the use of touch feedback as critical a user experience as sight and sound. Immersion's technology is deployed across automotive, entertainment, medical training, mobility, personal computing, and three-dimensional simulation markets. Immersion and its wholly-owned subsidiaries hold more than 270 issued patents worldwide.

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