Turns out there is a leap in this technology. KDDI has a working prototype (using Kyocera technology) offering seven-layers of haptic feedback, rendering sensations through multiple layers of applied touchscreen pressure. What does this all mean? Well, instead of a small vibration when your finger makes contact with the touchscreen, imagine a feeling a sense of depth in a 3rd dimension when your finger is pressed against the display with varying pressure. This will give the user the experience of 'actually' pushing a physical button.
Pretty cool huh?
KDDI only had a screen sporting two haptic layers on hand when they demoed the prototype at Wireless Japan this week, but Kyocera reportedly told Akihabara News that the technology is capable of up to seven layers of tantalizing touch.