Users may soon be able to touch through their phone

Mobile phone users will soon be able to touch goods through their device, it has been predicted.
According to IBM Research, products made within the next five years will distinguish fabrics, weaves and textures through the screen, enabling shoppers to get to grips with what they are buying online prior to completing the purchase.
The group explained the next half-decade will see virtual and real-world experiences brought together to allow people to feel product surfaces and provide feedback, such as the quality or freshness of the item.
Robyn Schwartz, associate director of IBM Research Retail Analytics, solutions architect Dhandapani Shanmugam and Siddique Mohammed, software architect of IBM Software Group Industry Solutions, explained digital image processing and digital image correlation can be used to capture qualities of texture in a Product Information Management system.
They noted: “Soon though, the phone will be able to emit a field of vibrations. Just millimetres from the screen. And the vibrations will be subtle.”
Would-be brides shopping for a wedding dress could therefore be able to feel the satin gown, beading, buttons and lace of the garment, the experts added.