Tactus demos buttons morphing out of a touchscreen

first_imgOne of the reasons people like using a Blackberry is the inclusion of physical buttons below the display. If you choose a touchscreen-only device, be it a smartphone or a tablet, you lose those buttons and instead all input is on a flat surface.It would be nice if we could have the best of both worlds, meaning physical buttons on a display when we want them, and no buttons when we don’t. Tactus Technology has figured out how to do that by creating a transparent morphing surface on top of a touchscreen display.Tactus describe their technology as creating a “dynamic physical surface” on a display. That means buttons can appear anywhere on the screen, in a range of shapes and configurations. So you could have physical buttons appear for a keyboard across the display, or a D-Pad like shape and a selection of round buttons to represent a gamepad for playing games.The technology that makes this possible has been in development since 2007 and is being called Tactile Layer. Tactus says it can be used with any existing touchscreen technology in use today. The only change manufacturers have to make is switching out the cover glass for a Tactile Layer.Tactus will have Tactile Layer ready for use in commercial devices by the middle of next year. But if the technology is as good as it sounds I can’t see them remaining independent for very long. One or more of the larger hardware companies will most likely make a move to acquire them, and in so doing secure morphing buttons for their devices only.Read more at Tactus Technologylast_img read more

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