Apple has filed a patent application that describes a particular surface for mobile device screens. She will be able to change her characteristics, providing a variety of tactile sensations. To simulate various types of surfaces, it is proposed to use actuators and a set of control elements that trigger a “special effect” at a specific point on the touch screen.
With the help of actuators, the screen in certain areas will vibrate, thus transmitting the characteristics of a particular material.
In addition, algorithms are described for transmitting the temperature characteristics of materials – a tree (wooden table) can feel like warm material, metal – cold. Peltier elements or its analogues are mentioned in the context.
The system looks complicated, but the documents describe a way to make it cheaper and simpler (for example, installing “tactile” elements only in certain parts of the device, and not under the entire surface of the screen). An Apple laptop is used as an illustration, which indirectly indicates the possibility of using the technology in non-screen touch surfaces (trackpad).
The presence of a patent does not mean that the technology will be implemented in the near future or appear in principle.