$678 Billion Tech Explosion
There is a proliferation of a new breakthrough that Popular Mechanics calls a “highly evolved…technology… changing the way humans interact with machines.” It’s a “touch” technology that will soon let you feel the texture of an iceberg thousands of miles away… test the firmness of a mattress over the internet… and even touch your spouse’s hand while you’re away on business. It’s called human-computer interaction technology, or HCIT for short, which could represents a $678 Billion Industry.
HCIT uses tiny chips installed under the surface of electronic devices. When activated, the chips deliver a “touch” response that you can actually feel. So let’s say you had an HCIT-enabled computer mouse – and you moved the cursor over the picture of a beach.
Even though you’re actually touching a flat mouse button, this technology makes it feel like you’re touching sand… or even rolling waves. The chips send the message to your fingers like a speaker sends a message to your ears.
How is this possible?
According to a Washington Post tech columnist, “When you feel the difference between a sheet of notepaper and a sheet of sandpaper, it’s because you’re judging which causes your skin to vibrate more. Those skin vibrations are what your nerve endings pick up, causing your brain to read ‘rough.'”
So by recording and recreating vibration patterns and delivering them to your fingertips, HCIT can simulate the feeling of almost anything. And this isn’t some experimental technology still in development stages…
Samsung just released the first digital music player in the world with HCIT feedback… and it took home a Consumer Electronic Association Best of CES Award in 2009.
Microsoft and Sony have been enhancing video gaming experience for years with HCIT controllers for the Xbox and PlayStation consoles. Various actions in the game deliver customized “rumble” sensations to the controller that 4 out of 5 gamers say make the game feel more life-like.
BMW adopted HCIT for its innovative iDrive, which allows drivers and passengers to operate climate control, entertainment and navigation systems with a single device. With touch feedback in your car, you don’t have to take your eyes off the road.
Cypress Semiconductor recently made a deal to incorporate HCIT in its newest semiconductors that go in products like phones, GPS systems, keyboards, and printers.
3M, the same company that makes duct tape, also manufactures casino gaming machines… And some of its latest machines will feature HCIT to improve gaming satisfaction and quality.
Why are all these companies chomping at the bit for the next-generation of this technology?
Because they know how important it is to enhance consumer interaction with everyday devices.
As Popular Mechanics points out, many “devices are running into the limitations of sight and sound.”
But with HCIT, companies can improve their products with the added feedback of “touch.”
From the iPhone and laptops, to washing machines and ovens, these flat panels of glass and plastic are changing the way we interact with technology. iSuppli research reports that touchscreen shipments will jump to at least 833 million by 2013. The Economist is catching on too, saying “The touchscreen could be on the verge of becoming a standard part of computer interfaces.”
Apple released its mega-popular iPhone in 2007 and despite its success, they made a big mistake… when didn’t put HCIT in the iPhone. And then Apple left the door open for Nokia. They are expected drive the next wave of industry growth next September 15th with the official announcement of this HCIT technology included in their phone. That´s why many analysts are recommending investing in the companies using HCIT before the mainstream release.