Why is Apple still the company that makes the vibrator respond most? - VnReview
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Why is Apple still the company that makes the vibrator respond most? – VnReview


There is no shortage of tactile feedback vibrators on the market. However, Apple is still considered the best maker. Why?

Every year, Apple launches products with fewer and fewer keys. Actually this is not too bad. The keys are no different from a gateway to get water and dirt in. Although your phone is waterproof, but anyone who knows at some point, external agents can get inside and cause damage. The hard key is a moving element, so the less it is, the less damaged it will be.

One of Apple's recent positive efforts is to replace this key with Taptic Engine. This helps them remove hard keys without abandoning fans who are used to feedback in each operation. Moreover, it can also give other products the ability to respond to touch. Both a remarkable step in technology and high efficiency in sales strategy. The more I dissect the Apple product, seeing the tool change over each generation, iFixit said that they were even more impressed.

iFixit appreciates Apple's tactile feedback vibrator

Apple and tactile feedback vibration

The core technology has created a fake home button on iPhone 7, 8, and Force Touch on the MacBook trackpad, 3D Touch on new iPhones and even the Apple Watch, which is a vibration feedback. Basically, this is a system that recreates the touch and touch experience, like a regular trackpad or hard key. A vibrating motor made soft vibrations, Apple called it Taptic Engine. This technology was first launched on Apple Watch in 2014, followed by 2015 iPhone 6S, gradually available on other products. Force Touch, 3D Touch is a little different, but the core principle is still based on Taptic Engine, which can be considered an upgrade.

They were not the first to try to put a tactile feedback system into a senseless machine. Many people think so, but they are not. Before Apple, some names tried to give the same feedback as when interacting with physical hardware. That Blackberry Storm, Motorola ROKR E8. A lot of Android phones have a function that "vibrates when touched" – vibrates the entire body every time.

Internal vibrator iPhone 7, 6S and 6 (from left to right)

But what makes Apple different from those firms? That is the technical accuracy that the company puts into its products. Especially when the space in smartphones is increasingly narrow, every millimeter is equally valuable. Apple is probably the company that is closest to the removal of hard buttons, as we will gradually forget thanks to the simulated vibration that is true. The company tried three different types of motors, before going to their own designs on iPhone 6. But it wasn't until the iPhone 7 generation that they actually created revolution in the experience, when turning a feedback area. becomes like a button.

What is the Taptic Engine's secret?

First, have to understand how Android phones vibrate. They switched from the Eccentric Rotating Mass (ERM) vibrating motor to Linear Resonant Actuator (LSA), which is more efficient, which is also quite close to Apple. However, Android firms do not take care of it, the difference lies in the motor driver software. Only LG is the better company on the V30 and V40 models.

Only Apple cares about vibration, but other Android carriers don't

So how did the company do? That is resonance. When the motor is operating, it vibrates before and after with an accurate speed and speed, the greater vibration intensity spreads to the whole body, resonance amplifies many times. The frequency of oscillation, shape, size, position of the motor, all contribute to the effect. A different vibration effect is generated when the motor moves in its resonant frequency. The shape and size will affect the time that the motor accelerates then stops. Apple's refinement for their Taptic Engine vibrates best with each touch. And by designing it themselves, they can give the best parameters for each device to achieve the highest efficiency.

Meanwhile, competitors do not interfere much but depend on the partner providing. Therefore, the level of intervention cannot match Apple. In addition, Android vendors simply can't integrate standard vertical hardware and software like Apple can. Only Google is capable. But while their hardware is similar to Apple, the software is very indifferent. The API they provide programmers is not as considerate as Apple.

The motor vibrates inside the Huawei P30 Pro, a flagship launched in 2019 at a high price, but nothing if placed next to the iPhone's motor.

And besides software, there are still many other things that have not been mentioned. But according to iFixit, Taptic Engine can be considered the "king of all kinds of feedback vibrations" today, simply because the person who made it is interested in this feature most. Apple actually views vibration feedback as an essential part of the user experience. With a shortage of space, every thousand-dollar smartphone carries important components, nothing is absurd, but only classified to fill. Therefore, Apple is ready to win the "stage" for the Taptic Engine to perform, enough to make it stand out from other competitors that also cost thousands of dollars.

Why will feedback be important in the future?

Of course, to have a set of vibrating peaks, the cost is also more expensive and the space also requires more. Although Apple is committed to bringing it to many products, the recent iPhone XR has been removed from 3D Touch, The Verge or Tech Crunch, immediately assuming it's a colorful, expensive feature.

There are still many other potential applications of tactile feedback vibrators

But in fact, there is still a lot of space in the future for talented engineers to use feedback vibrators. Examples include Apple's recent "butterfly" keyboard butterfly. If hard keyboard design becomes "difficult", they can switch to keyboard design without hard keys, use feedback vibration mechanism, identify power, assign functions, … replace it. Further, it can be applied to products with folding screens, providing a new form of communication between people and machines.

Ambitious Man (According to iFixit)


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