The new generation of phones, like the iPhone, that use touch-screen technology look pretty great, but some people find typing text or email on the flat screens slow and clumsy.
According to New Scientist, however, new software has been developed to help people get around that problem by simulating the feel of typing on a physical keyboard.
The software, called VibeTonz, uses the vibration capabilities of phones to give a physical response to the user when a key is typed that is designed to replicate what they would feel typing on a keyboard.
As yet the software only gives rudimentary responses to users, but with a bit of tinkering scientists at the University of Glasgow have used it to make typing speeds much quicker.
They assembled different combinations of VibeTonz vibrations to create more realistic responses – for example, a single pulse 30 milliseconds long gives the feeling of a button being clicked, while sliding a finger from one button to another prompts a jiggle that tells the user they’ve strayed to another key.
The researchers found that users’ typing speed and accuracy, when the vibrations were enabled, were significantly closer to results they achieved using a real keyboard.