A company called Senseq has developed a functional prototype of a TV/computer screen that allows you to actually feel textures on the screen. They're calling it the
Touch Feel Screen (presumably because Grope-Box was already taken). The technology works using electrostatic fields and could be available for widespread use in as early as two years. Coooooool -- I'm gonna start sleeping with my hands in socks so they're extra sensitive!
When you touch different areas on the screen the field produces varying degrees of friction -- which is what creates a high fidelity sensation of texture. The sensation is delivered regardless of whether your fingers move or not.
The feeling could project contours and edges of things in front of you, and creates the sensation of everything from silk to rough terrain.
Impressive. Or at least it would be if I haven't been RUBBING MY NOSE ON TELEVISION SCREEN SINCE I WAS A KID. Just sayin', I've known about electrostatic friction for like 25 years now. You know how many times I've shuffled my socks across the carpet and touched my wiener to a metal door handle?! Just the one. (It caught fire)