Next Generation iPhone to feature tactile feedback from Immersion

Gaming devices like Joysticks and Gamepads have helped make Feedback or Vibration technology a commonplace feature in the late nineties.

Now Online news website Palluxo says that Apple may be in talks with Immersion corporation to licence its Haptic Technology which Apple may use in the iPhone (and perhaps elsewhere).

An Apple employee said that senior executives of the two companies have had meetings last week over the licencing and implementation issues related to the iPhone.

Nokia's Tube 5800 phone, dubbed the iPhone killer, is also rumoured to be Haptic equipped and Apple's move might be aimed at negating Nokia's advantage in this field.

Haptic technology allows users to get tactile feedback (often in the form of vibration) when they interact with the touchscreen; this means that the device feed back any action by the user, and the latter could feel the "click" of the virtual onscreen keyboard.

Immersion already has a product called Vibetonz which is already used in a number of products - Cnet quotes more than 10 million phones, less than a fraction of handsets sold per year - but which ultimately might not be enough to sway iPhone critics.

For all its worth, Haptic technology is bound to have an impact on the new iPhone battery life and, unless Apple has made significant improvements to the battery life, new 3G owners could be in for a nasty surprise.