Apple will make its iPad 3 official in just a few hours’ time, but that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from turning this morning. Having had confirmation from one iOS hacker that the tablet will be the first iOS device to get 1GB of RAM, one report claims that it will also feature a new “E-Sense textured touchscreen” that allows you to feel your display like never before.
The Guardian reports that unlike Apple’s existing iPad display, which just feels like a sheet of glass under your fingertips, its iPad 3’s screen will be textured, providing a rough, rigid, or rounded feel in certain areas. This is why, the report claims, Apple has emphasized “touch” on its iPad 3 event invitations.
“Apple never uses words in its invitations without them meaning something,” said Carolina Milanesi, smartphones and tablets analyst for the research company Gartner. As she pointed out, the invitation for Apple’s previous event in October had a picture of some app icons, a “1’ against the iPhone, and the phrase “Let’s talk iPhone” – in retrospect, a pun on the planned introduction of the single iPhone 4S, with the Siri voice-driven “assistant” software.
Milanesi thinks similar analysis will pay dividends: “Saying you have to ‘see’ it obviously refers to the retina display. As for ‘touch’, my first thought was that they have done something to the back of the iPad.”
But the Guardian believes that the “touch” refers to a technology from Senseg, a Finnish startup which has developed a system called E-Sense which appears to give texture to a touchscreen.
The technology comes from a Finnish company called Senseg and it uses things called “tixels,” generated by electric fields from elements embedded around the screen, to provide a texture on the display that can change just like its pixels.
Apple patents have proven that the company has long been looking at ways in which it can provide users with tactile feedback while they use a touchscreen, so claims that Senseg’s E-Sense technology will feature in the iPad 3 certainly aren’t surprising. This is, however, the first we’ve heard of this technology in the run up to the new iPad’s unveiling.