Touch screens are something that in near 2013 we're pretty used to as a technology and through smartphones we're beginning to take tentative steps into controlling our home, be it through remote access to our PC or through environmental controls. Microsoft however, wants to put that interaction on your wall.
Through a new patent dug up by the guys over at PatentBolt, we find that Microsoft has been looking to create a “smart wall,” which acts like a touch pad. However as well as being able to receive inputs, that could control your lighting, your heating, adjust stereo volume and other functions, it could also have tactile feedback. Through a series of actuators, Microsoft has postulated that it could create interfaces that feel far different than the smooth, perhaps wallpapered, wall you were touching.
It's thought that through the use of vibration devices, it should be possible to give the wall a feel similar to that of a mouse scroll wheel, or even a button. This way when not in use, the smart wall can blend in with the standard bricks and mortar around it and then come alive when needed.
KitGuru Says: While a patent doesn't ever guarantee the technology will be made, I think we'll end up seeing this tactile feedback on smartphones and tablets before long.