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Pixel-sized shape-memory plastic cells can be made to protrude from the surface

Microsoft patents new tactile touchscreen

A design for a ‘tactile touchscreen’ that allows users to feel textures as well as see them has been patented by Windows and Xbox platform holder Microsoft.

New Scientist reports that the technology uses “pixel-sized shape-memory plastic cells that can be ordered to protrude from the surface on command”.

Several other companies (such as Nokia, Disney and Finnish firm Sensag) are known to be working on similar technology called ‘vibrotactile displays’ that uses a grid below the screen that can be raised or lowered when a voltage is passed through it.

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