Haptics devices cannot replicate physical contact

Haptics devices probably won’t ever live up to their promise to replicate physical contact, writes David Parisi (associate professor, College of Charleston) in the online Real Life magazine.

For the past 50 or so years, the dream of the haptics field has been that a newly virtualized touch could both complement and challenge the visuality of computer displays, restoring a missing dimension to our interactions with and through computers. […]

If the promise of haptics is so self-evidently appealing, if our digital disconnection makes us ever more skin-hungry, why have haptics devices consistently failed to take hold? Is it simply, as many in the field suggest, a question of not-good-enough tech that will inevitably get better? 

There is quite a bit more to it than that. The article is quite excellent and complete in the main issues that need to be considered.