When you touch your phone’s screen, it responds instantly, or so you’d think because, by today’s standards, most phones’ touchscreen latency is around 80ms. This lag is almost imperceptible when you tap the screen, but it becomes more obvious when you slide your finger over it, such as when trying to draw.
Even though devices like the iPad Pro combined with the Apple Pencil are extremely responsive, it’s still not 100% lag-free, but the researchers believe they could achieve near-zero latency by creating a screen protector. single screen that features a series of tiny bumps.
This screen protector was created by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s Future Interfaces Group. These bumps are only 5 microns high, meaning they are virtually invisible to the human eye. The idea behind these bumps is that when your finger (or stylus) moves over them, it creates a very subtle acoustic vibration that can be picked up by the phone’s microphone.
Based on vibrations and combined with software, the phone then tries to determine and predict where your fingertip or stylus is moving and the UI will update accordingly. Based on their testing, using this screen protector actually reduced latency to 28ms and 16ms in perceived latency.
It’s actually a pretty cool concept, even if this screen protector will be released or not, anyone can guess, but it could be a concept that smartphone manufacturers could apply to their future screens .