A Touching Tale

UK research pioneer, NXT is making touch screens touch back, signing an exclusive deal with Japan‘s Nissha Printing Company. Engineers from both companies will collaborate to bring NXT‘s bending wave technology to market on small touch screens. NXT also revealed it had used a piezo actuator to introduce bending waves into a touch panel to create a loudspeaker.

Since the birth of touch screen technology engineers have sought ways to create more tactile, responsive and natural effects for users, otherwise known as “haptic“ technologies. The word haptic is derived from the Greek word pertaining to the sense of touch. Now NXT says its new technology will not only allow users to feel vibrations on the screen but will produce high-quality audio directly from the touch screen.

The recent agreement provides Nissha with a licence to use NXT‘s haptic and associated bending wave technology in small touch screen applications for an initial three year period. Nissha is required to pay $1.8 million (€1.4 million) up-front in addition to ongoing royalties.

“This is an important milestone for us,” said Peter Thoms, chief executive of NXT. “NXT has worked with Nissha for the last two years to develop both audio and haptic feedback in small screen applications.”

Uses for haptic technologies range from research, enabling the study of how humans react to touch; to gaming, allowing a heightened interactive experience. The adult entertainment industry is also finding applications for the new technologies coming to market but we’ll leave that one to your imagination…