( Mobilemag ) - Haptics is the study of touch-based interactions between people and machines. It is at the root of the explosive growth in touch interfaces (including the widely publicized Apple iPhone), and that growth is going to get bigger very quickly.
Researchers in the U.S. and the U.K. are working on haptics principles to produce machines that provide a tactile response when a person taps them. At its most basic, such a device vibrates to indicate that a button has been pressed.
This is important technology because it reinforces the sensation of letting your fingers do the walking, so you don't have to keep pressing that virtual button (or the wrong one). Multiple actuators are in the offing as well, with some companies saying that such tactile technology is on its way into mobile devices in the very near future.