Posted in | Display

Touchscreen Devices with Tactile Feedback

Bayer MaterialScience AG and its subsidiary Artificial Muscle, Inc. will be exhibiting for the first time at the GSMA Mobile World Congress, Europe’s leading mobile communications trade show, from February 14 – 17, 2011, in Barcelona, Spain. The company will present innovative solutions for manufacturing smartphones and mobile phones using electroactive polymers and polycarbonate films.

The projects underline the competence of Bayer MaterialScience for the development of future communication technologies which is in accordance with the slogan “Science For A Better Life”. Current activities center on Bayfol Reflex™ actuators that provide tactile feedback when activating a touchscreen, and integrated antennas in mobile phones.

Electroactive polymers are particularly suited to applications in mobile electronic devices, where they make users feel feedback on touchscreens. When the touchscreen is activated, the polymers provide tactile feedback, which can be precisely adjusted to meet given requirements.

The numerous touchscreen display applications that are appearing on the market demonstrate how such displays are well on their way to replacing conventional keys and buttons. But, a major issue with using touchscreens is that users frequently are uncertain whether touching the display has really triggered the desired command. Combine this with complex menu navigation, and dissatisfaction can soon be the result. Solutions currently on the market do not yet satisfy the demand for synchronized feedback with visual, audio and haptic signals.

Electroactive polymers from Bayer MaterialScience offer entirely new possibilities for rapid and precise tactile feedback and change shape when voltage is applied, because of their function. They also are referred to as “artificial muscles”.

“These polymers are particularly suited to applications in mobile electronic devices, where they make users feel feedback on touchscreens,” explains Elisa Picasso, Business Development Manager for functional films at Bayer MaterialScience. “When you activate the touchscreen, the polymers provide tactile feedback, which can be precisely adjusted to meet given requirements.” This aspect distinguishes the technology from the mechanical vibration solution available on the market today. The result is a diverse range of application options for virtually wear-free use in smartphones, gaming controllers and touchpads.

Enhanced mobile gaming with dynamic motion feedback is being shown at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from February 14-17, 2011 by Artificial Muscle, Inc., a Bayer MaterialScience company. Demonstrating its Bayfol Reflex™ technology, Artificial Muscle will also have the recently announced Mophie Pulse™ available for hands on demonstration. Thanks to a licensing agreement concluded recently with Immersion Corporation, Bayer MaterialScience can now offer customers a comprehensive tactile feedback solution which incorporates a license to Immersion’s extensive IP portfolio.

Recently the Mophie Pulse™ game enhancing grip for the iPod Touch was announced as the first commercial product integrated with Bayfol Reflex™. The Pulse was introduced at CES 2011 in Las Vegas by Mophie, Inc., a California-based, award-winning designer and manufacturer of mobile intelligent devices and accessories. This product enables a more interactive and rewarding gaming experience on the iPod Touch by adding synchronized and precise tactile feedback that is compatible with most existing games on the iPod Touch.

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