New iPad to Feature Textured Touchscreen Technology?

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Here’s one last iPad rumor for your consideration: There’s a possibility that Apple’s latest tablet may feature dynamically textured touchscreen technology from a company called Senseg.

Senseg was featured in TIME’s 50 Best Inventions issue late last year as follows:

Finnish company Senseg’s E-Sense technology enables users to not just touch pictures on screens but actually feel them. Tixels — or tactile pixels — simulate a host of textures, from dry and wet to rough and smooth, using electrical fields and vibrations. Theoretically, the interface could work on screens as small as a smart phone or as large as a movie screen.

The iPad-Senseg rumor comes from Pocket-lint, which demoed the technology at the recent Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona and “asked them the direct question of whether Senseg is involved in the iPad 3 launch.” The response from a company spokesperson: “We won’t be making any statements until after Apple’s announcement.”

Pocket-lint also cites an interview Senseg did with Trusted Reviews in June, where a company SVP remarked, “We are currently working with a certain tablet maker based in Cupertino.”

(MORE: Future Stuff: Apple Files Patent for Sexy Sounding Keyless Keyboard)

If this technology is indeed present in the new iPad, it could be used for a bunch of cool parlor tricks in certain apps but perhaps its most useful functionality could be as the iPad’s on-screen keyboard. Imagine keys that you could actually feel, individually, while typing.

And last but certainly not least, Apple’s own event invitation (see below) may hint at this tactile screen technology. “We have something you really have to see” alludes to the iPad’s new high-resolution screen that everyone’s expecting, but the “And touch” quip at the end could very well foreshadow the inclusion of tactile touchscreen technology.


We’ll be live at the Apple announcement – follow along here – at 1pm ET/10am PT, so take this news with a grain of salt until then.

MORE: TIME’s Apple iPad Event Live Coverage