The current iPhone and iPod touch are becomming increasingly popular as affordable, pocketable voice-out communication aids due to the Proloquo2go software. However one of the disadvantages of touch-technology is the lack of tactile-kinesthetic feedback that one would normally receive from using a keyboard, switch or older communication aids like the AlphaTalker. Research already indicates the importance of tactile-kinesthetics when learning (Etemad, 1994; Saunders et al. 2003) and it’s a well known factor that needs to be considered when prescribing high-tech assistive technologies, especially to people with learning difficulties.
If a recent patent application is to be taken to a possible conclusion then a future iPhone or iPod touch will feature an invisible grid that provides tactile feeling back to the user to reinforce their actions. A small improvement on top of the affordability, size and speed of the existing hardware but could make the experience more understandable for many potential users.