Many of the last remaining BlackBerry holdouts continue to clamor about the advantages of a physical keyboard, citing the difficulty of using a touch-screen device if its user cannot see the display. According to one of Apple's latest patent applications, that argument may soon become moot.
The "Touch-based User Interface with Haptic Feedback" patent application, discovered by AppleInsider, highlights the use of actuators and sensors on an iPad's or iPhone's display that would allow a user to effectively feel buttons and other controls.
Apple's take on haptic technology places piezoelectric actuators under the display, which allows for localized feedback when touched. Because the sensation is localized (as opposed to vibrating the whole device as other haptic solutions do) users would be able to feel individual buttons and understand their relative positions on the display.