I am in Myanmar with Disability Access Expert Nirmita Narasimhan of the Center for Internet and Society to initiate work on one component of our Myanmar as an Inclusive Information Society project. It is said by the experts in making devices and services accessible to those with disabilities that it should not be thought that such actions make things worse for “normal” users.
So no wonder this piece from the Economist caught my eye:
Robert Bosch, a German producer of car parts, among other things, recently displayed a touchscreen with “haptic feedback”. Visual effects, sounds and vibrations are already used with touchscreens to confirm when icons or keys are selected. What the Bosch system does is to add different surface textures to the mix.
The textures on the screen can be rough, smooth or patterned in various ways to represent the location of different buttons with different uses. The idea is that a driver would be able to feel for the right button without having to look at the screen. To avoid accidentally activating buttons as he feels his way across the screen, the driver needs to press a particular surface more firmly to turn the required function on or off, much like pushing on a mechanical switch. By applying variable pressure, a user can scroll faster or slower through, say, different music tracks or radio stations.