updated 11:10 am EST, Thu February 28, 2008
iPhone haptic keyboard mod
In an effort to make typing on the iPhone more familiar, the University of Glasgow has unveiled a hack that provides vibration feedback when a virtual key is pressed, simulating the effect of typing on a real keyboard. The patch enables what the University calls haptic feedback, which researchers say can help improve typing speeds, while simultaneously reducing errors. The hack is available from the University's Google Code page, requiring a jailbroken 1.1.3 iPhone.
The current modification uses a 70-millisecond, 170Hz pulse with the built-in vibration motor to simulate pressing the key, while a 50-millisecond, 100Hz pulse imitates the key raising when the finger leaves the touch surface. The researchers also have implemented an unspecified event that occurs when a user's finger crosses over two keys, to help with accuracy.