In video games, the addition of haptic capabilities is nice to have. It increases the reality of the game and, as a result, the user's satisfaction. But in training and other applications, haptic interfaces are vital. That's because the sense of touch conveys rich and detailed information about an object. When it's combined with other senses, especially sight, touch dramatically increases the amount of information that is sent to the brain for processing. The increase in information reduces user error, as well as the time it takes to complete a task. It also reduces the energy consumption and the magnitudes of contact forces used in a teleoperation situation.
Clearly, Samsung is hoping to capitalize on some of these benefits with the introduction of the Anycall Haptic phone. Nokia will push the envelope even farther when it introduces phones with tactile touchscreens. Yes, such phones will be cool to look at. And, yes, they will be cool to touch. But they will also be easier to use, with the touch-based features leading to fewer input errors and an overall more satisfying experience.
If you'd like to learn more about haptics and related technologies, take a look at the links on the next page.