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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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.