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Nokia Embraces Tactile Touchscreens

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'Touchscreen' and 'iPhone' pretty much the two biggest buzz words in the mobile phone industry in 2007 – the problem with both: typing. But could this soon be a problem of the past?

This week Nokia joins LG and Samsung in licensing VibeTonz from Immension, software which enables users to experience feedback when interacting with a touchscreen device. The agreement allows Nokia to use the technology in any of its mobile devices sold worldwide and freedom to create any VibeTonz applications it likes.

"This license with Nokia supports the potential for very widespread use of our VibeTonz System -- and the VibeTonz System supports the potential for a much fuller, more multisensory experience for users," said the wonderfully named Immersion CEO Victor Viegas in a statement. "With VibeTonz technology, Nokia can very purposefully access the sense of touch and add value throughout the mobile device."

Of course the obvious value add in all this is for the troublesome virtual keyboard – a feature in the iPhone which has been subject to almost as much pre-release publicity as the device itself – because VibeTonz enables the artificial sensation of tactile feedback. LG has already implemented such a system in the much underrated virtual keyboard of its Prada phone while Samsung has integrated the tech into a number of its Korean handsets but, as yet, nothing overly revolutionary.

That said, with the iPhone out and now Nokia in the mix it seems we won't be short of large touchscreen, VibeTonzing devices for long and Q4 2007 already looks like being a mouthwatering period for mobile users...

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