Design of a highly integrated ultrasonic piezoelectric controller
While touch screens have become the de facto user interface for cell phones, they do not provide any mechanical feedback to the user, unlike standard keyboards and computer mouse where we can feel the buttons springing back against our fingers. This, however, could be replicated through haptic technology, which can mimic various sensations through smooth surfaces (touch screen or phone case). For example, a haptic device can simulate the sensation of pressing a button. On the other hand, haptic devices must be very compact and low power to be meaningful towards real-world applications such as in a smart phone. Boreas Technologies (Bromont, Canada) is a Canadian startup company that has developed very small and dense controllers for haptic devices with basic behaviours, such as mimicking a button. Their solution uses a low frequency controller (300 Hz) that is four times smaller than the closest competition, and requires ten times less power to run, making it especially compatible with the consumer market.