Since Fujitu’s prototype Haptic Sensor Tablet revealed yesterday is all about touch, describing it will be like trying to explain how a steak tastes. But here goes: it works by emitting ultrasonic vibrations below the touchscreen, which can be pulsed with varying force on any region of the screen. Those oscillations actually push your finger off the surface of the tablet and, depending on the force, can give different tactile sensations. For instance, a high pressure layer of air can reduce friction, making the surface of the screen seem slippery. By contrast, rapidly varying the pulses can make the display seem rough or even bumpy.
At least, that’s the theory. After trying it, we found some illusions like the slippery surface to be very convincing, for instance. But the rough texture sensation feels more like the screen is just sticky, and the bumpy experience is even less convincing. When touching the crocodile skin, it just felt like I was moving my finger over slippery and then clingy patches. There’s also a strong buzzing sensation, which is mildly disconcerting. All that said, though, it was still a lot of fun, and it’s hard to see how you could get much more realistic than that with a smooth, 2D surface. There’s a video after the fold showing it in action, but we apologize for the occasionally poor sound quality — as you’ll see, each time the haptics activated, it messed up our camera’s microphone.
Filed under: Tablets
Fujitsu’s evidently so impressed with how its luddite-friendly Stylistic S01 smartphone has performed in France, thanks to a deal with local carrier Orange, that it’s ready to start plugging a follow-up handset. Only, the company doesn’t have a clue on specifics just yet, but we’ll award a few points for enthusiasm, we guess. All we know of the Stylistic S02, assuming that’ll be the device’s name, is that it’s “expected” to wield NFC and LTE chips, an “energy-saving display” and a processor of the quad-core variety. Plans are to launch the smartphone aimed at “mature users” in a number of European locations this autumn. Not a lot to talk about, we know, but Fujitsu had to announce something phone-related at MWC. Otherwise, people’ll just think it makes tablet concepts with scaly touchscreens.
Back in 2012, we were all excited at the idea of haptic technology — touch screens that fool you into thinking that you can feel what’s on display. As quickly as we saw Senseg and NEC’s implementations, however, haptic fell out of the mainstream. Now, however, Fujitsu is working on an ultrasonic system, that varies the friction between your finger and the glass, which could be ready for prime time. In the demonstration, users are apparently able to pluck the strings of a Japanese harp, turn a combination lock and even stroke an Alligator. The company has knocked together a prototype in time for MWC, and Fujitsu has a goal to get the tech into commercial hardware by 2015 — assuming, of course, that realistic lizard stroking is the one feature you’ve been waiting for.
PulseWallet is going to get a lot of attention at CES this week, thanks to its point-of-sale system that allows you to pay for things with a wave of your palm. The interesting thing, though, is that PulseWallet already has a setup that lets customers pay with their fingerprints. The problem, say company reps, is that fingerprints can potentially be lifted. (Also, they’re a bit messy.) So, the outfit is moving to a Fujitsu-made palm sensor, which is more secure and supposedly faster, too. Here’s how it works: after you visit a store once, you can register your palm and link it to the credit card of your choosing. Then, the store will have it on hand (har) the next time you stop by. When it comes time to pay, you can swipe your palm, after which point you’ll need to enter your phone number to verify it’s really you. Et voilà! You’ve managed to pay without digging our your credit card, and without getting (as many) greasy fingerprints all over the point-of-sale system. No word on when you’ll start seeing these in stores, though the company says it will only be available in the US to start.
Filed under: Misc
The takeaway at today’s Intel press event? All signs point to the RealSense product line — a number of hardware and software products that “make interaction with technology simple, more natural and immersive,” according to Intel’s own words. The first product bearing the compound name is the RealSense 3D camera. Intel describes the product as “the world’s first integrated 3D depth and 2D camera module that helps devices ‘see’ depth much like the human eye,” suggesting that this isn’t just a substitute for Leap Motion or Kinect.
The camera does full-color 1080p and has an on-board sensor for gesture and face detection. The latter of which apparently helps it “understand emotions.” It also recognizes foregrounds and backgrounds, so you can replace that messy room and make it appear as if you’re Skypeing from the Moon. But, if you’re looking for something more practical, you can also use it to scan objects in 3D using 3D System’s Sense software. The RealSense 3D camera is set to be integrated into a number of diverse devices come the second half of this year, including tablets, Ultrabooks, laptops and all-in-ones, from top companies like Acer, ASUS, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo and NEC. Seven such devices are being demonstrated today, and Intel itself has a demo unit.
If you’d rather talk to your computer than wave at it, there’s also a next-generation version of Dragon Assistant from Nuance that will be part of Intel’s RealSense push. Of, course, while all this sounds good on paper, it remains to be seen how much people will actually want to wink, point or shout at their laptop to get it to open Netflix or point Chrome towards Engadget.
Well, we can’t say we didn’t see this one coming. Fujitsu Toshiba mobile communications — now there’s a mouthful — just unveiled the IS12T: Japan’s first Windows Phone 7 device, and according to Microsoft prez Yasuyuki Higuchi, the world’s first Mango handset. The sexy and IPX5 waterproof (!) 3.7-inch WVGA slate is powered by Qualcomm’s MSM8655 CPU of undisclosed clock speed (which we’ve seen running at 1GHz in the Incredible 2 and Thunderbolt), and goes on sale in “September or beyond” on KDDI’s au network. The pink gizmo packs a 13.2 megapixel camera with autofocus and has a plentiful 32GB of flash storage for housing whatever content you’d fancy toting around. The usual Bluetooth (2.1 + EDR) and WiFi (802.11b/g/n) suspects are also onboard. Interest piqued? Peruse the gallery our Engadget Japanese brethren have handily tossed our way.
Fresh off the Japanese launch of its LifeBook TH40/D Windows 7 tablet, it appears that Fujitsu is gearing up to release a new seven-inch Android slate. According to DigiTimes, Fujitsu’s forthcoming slab is scheduled to hit the market during the third quarter of this year and will run on Android 3.1 Honeycomb. It’s unclear whether or not the device will sport the same stylus support and sliding keyboard that its Windows 7 counterpart features, but Fujitsu is reportedly planning on selling the tablet for anywhere between about $350 and $700, which effectively ranges from “bargain” to “blimey.” We’re certainly hoping that the final price falls on the low end of that spectrum, but we’ll have to wait and see if our dreams become a reality.
A slide-out tablet running on Windows 7, you say? Not to be confused with the Samsung Sliding PC, what we have here is the Fujitsu LifeBook TH40/D that’s just been announced for the Japanese market. Inside this 2.4-pound convertible laptop you’ll find a 1.5GHz Oak Trail Atom Z670, 1GB of non-expandable DDR2 RAM, a 10.1-inch 1,024 x 600 touchscreen, a 120GB 4200rpm hard drive, and a battery life of around 6 hours. Other tidbits include 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, a couple of USB 2.0 ports, HDMI-out, an SD card slot, and a teeny optical trackpad placed next to the short space bar. Can’t say we’re digging some of the limitations on this TH40/D, but if you still want one, then be ready to fork out about ¥80,000 ($990) at the end of June.
Windows 7 tablets are a definite player on the scene and Fujitsu is going to be entering into that segment as well with a 10.1 inch tablet. We suspect that from its size that its running a Pine Trail CPU but there are a number of Oak Trail slates hitting the street the same time this one is being released in Q1 2011. It also has a customized GUI though we don’t see any photos of it, it would be great to have an ExoPC GUI on this unit. We don’t know much else about it since the guys from Trendlupe.de were on a factory tour when they got their hands on with the prototype. However we do know that Fujitsu Germany has made some statements about the tablet and where they hope it falls in the ecosystem.
The Fujitsu Slate will unite the best of PC and Smartphone in itself. Look forward now currently on a 10.1-inch (25.7 cm) display and a best-in-class visibility from all angles .Sspecifications is not yet finalized.