A new screen technology can make your flat smartphone screen into a 3D tactile keyboard and later morph back into a perfectly flat surface. A Tactus Technology flat panel was demonstrated this week at the Society for Information Display showcase in Boston, using a prototype Android tablet. You can see an example of the technology in action in the video embedded below.
“For years people believed the world was flat - they were wrong.
For years people believed that touchscreens were only flat - they were wrong.
Welcome to the new world of dynamic touchscreens”
Tactus Technology was founded in 2007 with the aim of making tactile touchscreens for smartphones and to make the technology easy to integrate into current devices. The company said it would like to see this technology installed in anywhere that there are already touchscreens, to enhance human interaction; gaming, satellite navigation, phones, cars and appliances.
Craig Ciesla, CEO of Tactus Technology said his inspiration came from the fact that he loved the elegance of his iPhone user interface but missed the physical buttons from his Blackberry phone. He said of the Tactus touchscreen technology; “It’s not just about creating QWERTY keyboards, it’s about creating a dynamic physical surface that can create different shapes and objects anywhere on your touchscreen.” On the availability of the technology he estimated “The first Tactus products will become available in the middle of 2013.”
Microfluidic technology is used within the new Tactus screen. The Tactus Tactile Layer is said to add no more thickness to a touchscreen because it replaces a layer which would already exist in the display stack. When triggered via software, the tactile layer can deform into shapes of specific height, placement, size and firmness. Users interact with the “buttons” and then they can disappear into the surface.
Predictably, video comments have already suggested slightly pornographic uses for the technology…