06473069 is referenced by 310 patents.
A method and apparatus for providing tactile feedback to a user moving his/her finger across the touch-sensitive surface of a touchpad or tablet. Different regions of the touch-sensitive surface are differentiated from each other by providing a different human perceptible textural surfaces within the regions. A different texture provides immediate tactile feedback to the user through the finger making contact with the touchpad. Increased functionality is important because it solves problems which are inherent to the small touchpad surfaces used as computer input devices. Particularly, it is a problem to drag an object from one side of a display to another without repeatedly raising a finger to repeat the dragging motion because of the limited surface area of the touchpad surface. Providing increased functionality such as a drag extend function solves the movement problem. The present invention then solves the problem of conveying to the user through touch, information about the location of the finger without having to look away from the display screen, thereby facilitating input and cursor manipulation for a computer. The apparatus of the present invention preferably includes an electronic touch-sensitive touchpad or tablet which can be actuated by a human finger, an associated processing device such as a computer, and a display screen whereon a cursor being manipulated by the touchpad is displayed.