09/10/2013 07:30 BST

Disney TeslaTouch Lets You 'Feel' Textures On A Touchscreen (VIDEO)

As well as running incredible theme parks and producing some of the most memorable films in history, Disney is also renowned for its research division.

The company's scientists have just revealed technology that allows a person to "feel" objects displayed on a flat touch screen.

'TeslaTouch' uses electrovibration to simulate textures as a finger is slid across a display.


The technology requires no moving parts

Ivan Poupyrev, head of the interaction research group in Pittsburgh, said: "Our brain perceives the 3D bump on a surface mostly from information that it receives via skin stretching."

The tiny vibrations mimic this effect and fools the finger into believing the surface has texture.

Poupyrev said: "Touch interaction has become the standard for smartphones, tablets and even desktop computers, so designing algorithms that can convert the visual content into believable tactile sensations has immense potential for enriching the user experience."

The technology could also have profound effects for blind or disabled users that at present are unable to use tablets and smartphones.

The technology is still under development and no announcement has yet been made as to when it will be available commercially.