Microsoft to create textured touchscreen displays?

29 Nov 2010

Microsoft has filed a patent application to create a tactile touchscreen, which gives users the illusion of touching the textures and bumps of a displayed image.

The patent, found by New Scientist, suggests using a “light-induced shape-memory polymer display screen.” A shape-memory plastic is placed over a touchscreen.

This upper plastic is manipulated through ultraviolet light from the screen beneath. It can become hard when one wavelength of ultraviolet light strikes a pixel and soft when another hits it, giving a sense of texture to the display.

Microsoft wishes to use the device as a large, table-sized computer, but it could be implemented in other ways in future.

If the display is successful, it could mean a huge improvement to touchscreen keyboards.

It would make them much more user friendly, allowing for faster typing and improving accessibility.