Part of the reason why some people are hesitant to jump into the iPhone arena is because Apple’s touchscreen cell phone lacks a physical keyboard. The tactile feedback offered from a “real” set of keys can be a major advantage over the virtual counterpart. In an effort to make the iPhone’s keyboard a little less virtual, a program prototype has been developed that provides haptic feedback.
This haptic touchscreen technology gets the phone to vibrate a little each time a virtual key is pressed. We’ve already seen something similar applied to the Motorola ROKR E8. It’s not quite the same experience as hitting a physical key, but it’s a little better than having no feedback at all.
Unfortunately, the program prototype — which is being built by a couple of students from the University of Glasgow — is “extremely buggy, crashing out and leaving the vibrations going even after you’ve hit the button.” Personally, I don’t think haptic can ever replace a real QWERTY keyboard, but that’s just me.