One under appreciated feature of Apple’s Watch and new Macbook (both announced at Apple’s recent event), is the haptic engine embedded in both which provides feedback through precise vibrations. The range of sensations this haptic engine can generate just may enable a new generation of touchable user interfaces.
Could this very simple and very clever electromagnetic motor produce effects other than a fake click? “Most definitely,” Hayward says. In theory, the trackpad should be capable of yielding all sorts of illusions—clicks, indentations, holes, bumps, and other types of bas relief-like textures.
Apple showed its eagerness to explore this potential earlier this week, with an incremental upgrade to iMovie that adds haptic feedback for a handful of interactions. As explained in the release notes, “When dragging a video clip to its maximum length, you’ll get feedback letting you know you’ve hit the end of the clip. Add a title and you’ll get feedback as the title snaps into position at the beginning or end of a clip. Subtle feedback is also provided with the alignment guides that appear in the Viewer when cropping clips.”