The Cambridgeshire company writes:
Our demonstration unit, called Bulldog, not only delivers true third generation haptics, allowing us to vary what effect you get depending on where you press. It also takes pressure into consideration, so a different effect is delivered depending on how hard you press down. This is, we believe, the first fourth generation haptics out there.
So, what we have here is four different, precisely software calibrated regions on the Gorilla Glass panel. Haptic effects are delivered using our actuators and this technology works on a variety of surfaces, so is ideal for phone screens, in vehicle controls, white goods...
On the unit pictured, each numbered area delivers customised feedback, to simulate real world button presses. For example, the #1 dial can be calibrated to mimic a variety of textures. And #3 demonstrates a "Raised effect button", allowing you to find it even without looking.
How do the different generations of haptics differ, exactly? Well I don't know, but Wikipedia has a neat summation:
- First generation: electromagnetic technologies produce a limited range of sensations that typically vibrate the whole device rather than a section
- Second generation haptics: touch-coordinate specific responses, localising the haptic effects
- Third generation haptics: delivers both touch-coordinate specific responses and customisable haptic effects
- Fourth generation haptics: pressure sensitivity, i.e. how hard you press on a flat surface can affect the response