>>But these demonstrations--from the cowbell, to shaking maracas, to circling the rim of a wine glass--were really there to showcase the capabilities of Immersion's technology. The idea is that device manufacturers will license the technology--Immersion counts LG, Nokia and Samsung among its licensees, and Pantech is actually using HD haptics now--and developers will use it in applications.
Outside of the fun little tricks, Immersion showed some practical examples. For instance, imagine scrolling through your Facebook photos that people have commented on and finding, via "feel," the ones that have received the highest number of comments. It actually felt heavier in those spots. The same can be done with email. Immersion showed how you can configure e-mail so that your boss' e-mail gives you a bit of a taser-like buzz when you're scrolling through your inbox. Immersion calls this "ambient awareness" and is attempting to create ways to communicate clues in the background. Their theory is that developers will be able to simplify user interfaces so that not as much information clutters up the app screen.