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Magnetic Levitation based Tactile Sensation Touch Screen

Stanford Reference:



Stanford researchers have designed an ultra low power and low cost method to create haptic feedback through direct physical levitation of a touch screen surface. This invention consists of a transparent floor membrane with a flat QWERTY keyboard button capable of being lifted 1mm in height. The on-or-off state requires no current to maintain while transitioning from one state to another only requires a short pulse of current. This feature enhances the user’s interactive experience by creating the perception of touching physical buttons and switches.

Stage of Research:
- Concrete design complete
- Prototype completed


  • Touch screen LCDs such as smart phone, tablets, e-readers, and computers
  • Gaming, Virtual Reality, surgical tools, and other applications


  • Low cost – No expensive materials such as rare earth materials or piezoelectric materials are required.
  • Ultra low power – Can LC resonance tank to recycle current and reduce power consumption. Presently only a short current pulse is required to switch between on-state or off-state. Magnetic solenoid maintains set state with no power consumption.
  • Enhances user experience
  • Design enhancements:
    • No switching device (e.g. transistors) needed to control (i.e., turn on/off) the magnetic forces at the cross points.
    • Inherent inductance (L) in coils and the capacitance (C) from embedded capacitors form an LC resonance tank where electric current oscillates at ultra low power. This allows the electrical current to be recycled many times when inducing magnetic force for tactile sensations.


Innovators & Portfolio

Patent Status

Date Released


Licensing Contact

Anne Kopf-Sill, Licensing Associate
(650)498-8015 (Business)
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Related Keywords

user interface   tactile sensation   touchscreens   magnetic levitation   Smart homes   cell phone   computer: displays   LCD   LCD screen   mobile: cell phones   smartphone application   gaming   gaming AI   haptic systems   10-356   



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