Rumor: Apple to License Haptic Feedback?
Take this with a grain of salt roughly the size of a tanker truck, but Palluxo is claiming that Apple is in talks to license Immersion's haptic feedback technology for the iPhone:
A source (Apple Inc employee), who chose to remain anonymous, told us that senior executives of the two companies have already met once on Tuesday and the next meeting has been scheduled for Friday morning. The source confirmed that the executives will continue discussions over licencing and implementation issues of iPhone haptics.
Haptic technology involves using vibrations and similar feedback to give the impression of tactile feedback (i.e., it makes pushing a button drawn with pixels feel more like pushing a real, hardware button).
While competitors have been vocal about adopting haptics, Apple has been characteristically mute on the issue, though Steve Jobs famed dislike for buttons (witness the turtleneck) may no doubt be a factor :)
There are, however, already some Apple patents on file which address the issue.
Personally, I'll believe it when it's shown off on stage at a Jobsnote. What do you think?