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This is what your touch screen has been missing all along.

 

Sometimes technology is born incomplete. The motion picture was popular for 20 years before it had sound. Modern computers were popular for 23 years before they had graphical user interfaces. Today, you wouldn't think of using these partial technologies, and tomorrow you won't think of using a touchscreen without a haptic display.

 
 

The TPad Phone lets you feel objects on the screen.

 

The TPad Phone marks the beginning of a revolution in human interfaces. We will no longer be stuck on the other side of the aquarium glass, able to see digital world, but never able to reach it. The TPad Phone is your magic portal to the other side. You'll know it's real, because you can feel it. 

 
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A perfectly flat and smooth glass screen that doesn't feel flat or smooth.

  • Textures- When you run your finger over something with texture like a wood table or a porcelain pot, you are feeling the microscopic pattern tugging on your skin. The TPad can recreate these patterns with detail finer than the pixels on your screen.
  • Shapes- Imagine pushing a cart over a hill. When you go up the hill, the cart resists you. When you go down the other side, it pulls you forward. By playing a similar pattern of resistance forces on the finger, the TPad gives the illusion of your finger going over a small bump. This can be expanded to display the shape of an icon or a topographic map. 
  • Dynamic Actions- Your phone is full of little dynamic actions like using momentum when you scroll, and springiness when you get to the end of a list. These are force-based effects, exactly what the TPad was designed for. 

It just feels good.

Some people need to be convinced. Do my icons really need a texture? Do my keyboard keys really need a shape? I can see what I'm doing, why do I need to feel it? These are the functionalists, the people who would strip the world of it's "unnecessary" parts. Why buy art when the wall is already painted? Why see live music when it's free online? Why light a candle when fluorescent lighting can flood the room? 

Tactile displays aren't for functionalists. They are for living, feeling human beings. It's a sensory experience. Instead of feeling that sticky, greasy feeling, you feel the richness of materials, the contours of objects, and the crisp feedback of your actions.  Everything you've ever touched has a texture, except for the icons on your smartphone screen. We're bringing the richness of the real world back to your fingertips, and it just feels good. 

 

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Feels like you're floating on air. Because you are. 

The TPad is a variable-friction tactile display. It changes friction, or resistance force, as you slide your finger across the screen. When it's on, your finger feels light and is easy to move. Beneath your finger, the surface is moving up and down less than the width of a strand of spider silk at frequencies faster than humans can hear. Your skin bounces against the surface, and is supported by a film of air like an air hockey table. It's literally  floating on air.   

 
Woah... woah... Wait, what?
— Computer science major, Hackathon
Oh my god, how are you doing this?
— Cute girl, a bar
So how long until this is in my iPhone?
— Person with iPhone, Starbucks
I wanted them, and then I feeled it, and then it was awesome.
— 5 year old boy
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This is the future. And it's available right now.

  • Motorola Moto G smartphone

  • Fully working off-contract phone- not modified, hacked, or unlocked. 

  • Android 4.4.4 

  • TPad ultrasonic haptic display integrated case. 

  • Example applications and intro videos.

  • Design tools for both programmers and non-programmers.

  • $2000