California Patent of the Month – March 2021

Numerous handheld devices are used worldwide, with most of them incorporating haptic feedback. Haptic technology refers to any technology that can create an experience of touch by applying forces, vibrations, or motions to the user – like when a game controller vibrates in your hands. Immersion Corporation has been designing haptic feedback since the 90s and are currently designing a method to include both pre-touch and true touch haptic feedback to enhance the speed of output.  

Handheld devices use a touch-sensitive interface (touch-screen) which usually lies overtop the graphic user interface (the actual visual component). Contact with the touch-screen sends signals through a processor to a haptic effect generator, which determines the appropriate response and initiates it (e.g. buzzing, vibrating, knocking etc). When the user makes physical contact with the touch screen, it’s called true touch. The touch-screen can also register user interaction before they physically contact the screen – this is called pre-touch. This pre-touch sends a first signal to the processor while a true touch sends a second signal. This distinction allows the haptic feedback to behave more rapidly. The first signal lets the device prepare the appropriate haptic response beforehand, the second signal tells the device to perform the now preloaded response.

The pre-touch can be configured to be registered at different thresholds. A pre-touch can be registered from 3cms away from the screen or could refer to touching the screen but not applying the required pressure. Other thresholds involve the surface area of contact – so that if a small portion of your finger is touching the screen, a first signal is sent. As your finger presses harder, more surface area is applied and the second signal is sent. 

Immersion Corp. has designed this pre and true touch to be as configurable as possible, to help ensure the increased response rate can be applied across any device and use.

About Immersion Corp

Immersion Corporation of San Jose, California, is a developer and licensor of touch feedback technology, also known as haptic technology. It was founded in 1993 by Louis Rosenberg. Our technology enables life-like digital touch feedback across mobile, automotive, gaming, and other consumer experiences. We have a broad set of solutions from use cases and software to tools and services for device manufacturers, haptic hardware companies, designers, and developers.

Are you adapting existing technology for a new application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

Who We Are:

Swanson Reed is one of the U.S.’ largest Specialist R&D tax advisory firms. We manage all facets of the R&D tax credit program, from claim preparation and audit compliance to claim disputes.

Swanson Reed regularly hosts free webinars and provides free IRS CE and CPE credits for CPAs. For more information please visit us at or contact your usual Swanson Reed representative.

Recent Posts