Light Induced Shape Memory Polymer Screen… this is the title of a recent patent filed by Microsoft on November 25, 2010. What in the world is this you might ask? It is a screen that can give you feedback and adjust the texture under your fingers. Sounds pretty cool and could be a feature in next-generation cell phones and tablets. Seeing as Microsoft has recently entered the mobile phone market this feature if it can be mass-produced cost-effectively may give them the edge over the competition.
The patent states:
A light-induced shape-memory polymer display screen is provided herein. One example display device includes a display screen having a topography-changing layer including a light-induced shape-memory polymer. The display device further includes an imaging engine configured to project visible light onto the display screen, where the visible light may be modulated at a pixel level to form a display image thereon. The display device further includes a topography-changing engine configured to project agitation light of an ultraviolet band towards the display screen, where the agitation light is modulated at a pixel level to selectively change a topography of the topography-changing layer.
Read the full patent here.
Sounds pretty interesting. I have always disliked touch screen keyboards on cell phones and have stuck with RIM’s BlackBerry products because of this but this technology could be the best of both worlds.