Computers: Haptic Adaptive Interface

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Computers: Haptic Adaptive Interface
Basic Information
Featured in...
Mass Effect 2

Advances in computing have done away with traditional input devices like keyboards. Instead, modern input peripherals are usually holographically displayed in front of the user at a height and angle for ergonomic ease. Machines that use this interface detect a user through a microframe chip in the user's glove that "keys in" to the computer. Once a user is accepted, motion accelerometers in the user's gloves match his hands' location with that of a proportionate but smaller "mirror" set of controls inside the computer itself. As the user presses against the holographic field, the force feedback in the glove kicks in, giving a slight resistance. A person can then feel his way through a touch-screen that isn't actually there. A simple toggle switch on the back of the hands allows the gloves to be turned off when not in use.

Haptic interfaces have become so common that some individuals undergo cybernetic enhancement surgery to have the accelerometers implanted in their fingertips. "Going bareskin" is the sign of a committed computer user, who longer has to fuss with putting on gloves or cleaning them with alcohol wipes to get rid of the clammy-hand smell.