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It’s clarification time! I just noticed that I used the term “tactile feedback” in the title of my recent Shape-Shifting Touch Screen post, but didn’t touch on what tactile feedback is in the entire piece. Normally I would trust that if you really wanted to know about something that I wasn’t entirely clear about, you could look it up…. Unfortunately in the explosively fast evolving smartphone and personal electronics industry, “tactile feedback” has become a total lexicon, buried in shiny and ambiguous marketing speak. For real, Google it.

Anyway, here’s a quick and simple explanation c/o Answers.com:
…In haptics, devices that provide a user with the sensations of heat, pressure, and texture.
Basically, using the smartphone touch-screen example, you press a key and receive a physical confirmation of that action in the form of the button physically lowering or clicking.

If you’re like me and have no idea what “haptic” means, here’s Wikipedia’s explanation:
Haptics refers to the sense of touch (from Greek ἅπτω = “I fasten onto, I touch”). It is a form of nonverbal communication.