The Applied Sciences Group at Microsoft posted the video below earlier this month showing off a laboratory test system that has a touchscreen with only 1 millisecond of latency.
Paul Dietz, the Assistant Director for Microsoft Applied Sciences, narrates the video and talks about what this technology might mean for Microsoft and touchscreen users. "What we've done with this research is set something of a bar for where we'd like to head over the next decade."
Dietz says current touch systems have about 100 milliseconds of delay. As any tablet or smartphone user can attest, this means it can take a while for the screen to register where your finger is when you move it quickly. Drawing and dragging are the areas where this is most noticeable.
"And, in fact, if you were playing with the real set-up you would notice a real perceptual cliff: that this really starts to feel like a real, physical object," said Dietz. "So we'd like to see systems decrease their latency down to the 1 millisecond level. And then, you start to actually have things that feel like you're moving a real, physical object."
Dietz mentioned this concept of on-screen objects feeling "real" multiple times in the video, but I'm a bit skeptical that things will ever feel "real" through a pane of glass. Although, combine this with Nokia's new patent for haptic feedback tattoos and we might actually be feeling individual grains of sand through our screens within the decade!