>>The current generation of smartphones built using Immersion's designs is limited to a few basic vibrational patterns capable of emulating a button click or a low-frequency woofer pattern to augment the bass sounds of a ring tone.
But Immersion and other haptics vendors are developing more sophisticated techniques that finely tune vibrational frequencies to simulate different textures on the screen surface, and to target specific areas of the screen so that, for example, only the finger touching a "depressed" key on a virtual keyboard feels a click sensation.
...But the technology is costly to use in a smartphone. "We can't drop that into a $200 cell phone today, but it's coming," he predicts.
Therein lies the rub. TouchSense 5000 is available now, and Sheehan says several manufacturers are "actively evaluating" it. But no manufacturers have announced phones that use it or indicated when such devices might become available.