Tonight’s iPad 3 launch event might hold back on an A6 quad-core chip in favour of a less impressive A5X, but all's not lost. Apple’s invite suggests the iPad 3's HD Retina Display won’t be the only treat – as the punctuation in the above invite clearly emphasises touch.
A Guardian story and Pocket-Lint news piece today point towards the possibility that the iPad 3 may make use of Senseg, a texture feedback system. This would mean running your finger across a picture of corrugated metal on the screen would feel like your finger is bumping over the ripples – rough would feel rough and soft, soft.
The Guardian’s technology editor Charles Arthur met Senseg's chiefs in their Helsinki offices in January where, “its directors declined to say whether they had spoken to Apple about the use of the technology in the iPad – but said they were talking to tablet manufacturers."
He went on to point out that Apple likes to hint at what it’s going to release in its invites. With the iPhone 4S the invite read, “Let’s talk iPhone” – in retrospect a blantant reference to Siri. The iPad 3 invite reads, “We have something you really have to see. And touch”, a clear reference to the HD Retina Display and likely new feel-sensitive screen – just the kind of innovative jump Apple needs in the competitive tablet market.
The great news is Senseg technology also works on phones and larger screens so we could see it in the iPhone 5 and Apple TV too. Imagine feeling a jumper before you order it, from your sofa; or the hard steel of a movie star’s gun on your TV at home. Smell-o-vision never stood a chance.
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