Apple has filed a patent for a haptic feedback system that could create a feeling of virtual buttons on its touchscreen devices like the iPhone 5.
Current haptic feedback on phones like the HTC Sensation XE or Samsung Galaxy Nexus offers a gentle handset vibration when a button is pressed. Apple plans to go further and use piezoelectric actuators – which create lots of little specific vibrating regions – to give the feeling of virtual buttons.
This is totally separate to the Senseg Feel technology rumoured to appear on the iPad 3, which delivers sensations of textures using an electric field. Or it would be if it ever appeared.
Apple declined to confirm whether the technology will be seen on its iPhone 5, launching later this year.