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Sensing & Measurement

High-fidelity haptic feedback and fast response for touchscreens

Bayer MaterialScience

Imagine a button that looks and feels like a button - even on a touch screen. It's a reality with the ReflexTM HIC Slide Actuator from Artificial Muscle Inc. (AMI), a Bayer MaterialScience LLC company.

AMI's ReflexTM technology solves a common deficiency - the disappearance of the sensation of touching - that has resulted from the emergence of touch screens in consumer electronic devices.

"ReflexTM technology re-creates the real feel of mechanical components, such as buttons, that are often absent from hand-held devices that use touch screens," said Marcus Rosenthal, director, Strategic Alliances, AMI. The ReflexTM technology offers easy integration with the device and low energy consumption, Rosenthal explained.

The ReflexTM HIC Slide Actuator is designed to mount to the back of a display and/or touch sensor and provides direct haptic feedback to the finger for touch devices. The technology enhances user experience of mobile devices by synchronizing haptic feedback with the sight and sound of applications used in mobile devices. The ReflexTM HIC Slide Actuator's wide frequency range and rapid response time (5 milliseconds) allows for unlimited combinations of touch sensations.

The ReflexTM HIC Slide Actuator uses Electroactive Polymer Artificial MuscleTM (EPAM) technology, which enables strong haptic touch feedback in the preferred sensitivity spectrum with rapid response time. EPAM technology is based on an electroactive polymer comprised of a thin layer of dielectric polymer film between two conductive, compliant electrodes. When a voltage is applied across the electrodes, the electrical force causes the electrodes to attract each other, causing the film to contract and expand in thickness.