Jun 6, 2012

The Touchscreen of the Future: Buttons That Morph Onto Surface



What if buttons could morph out of the surface of your device? Tactus Technology has developed a new tactile user interface for touchscreen devices that does exactly that. Tactus provides a new dimension to touchscreens by enabling real, physical buttons that rise up from the surface on demand, and then recede back into the screen, leaving a perfectly flat, transparent surface when gone.

In a press release posted yesterday, Tactus Technology announced the first public demonstration of an ‘appearing and disappearing haptic user interface’. It is the world’s first deformable tactile surface that creates dynamic physical buttons that users can actually see and feel in advance of entering data into the device.

Tactus uses microfluidic technology to create physical buttons that rise from the touchscreen to give users the experience of operating a physical keyboard. When no longer needed, the buttons recede back into the touchscreen, leaving no trace of their presence.

This innovation aims to address one of the longstanding gripes about touchscreens. Check out the video below for this exciting technology. While still in it’s infancy, the applications of such technology are endless and it’s amazing to think of the possibilities should this technology continue to develop and advance.






Current Touchscreen Issues

While touchscreens provide a versatile user experience, they provide no tactile experience for consumers. Vibration haptics and similar solutions try to simulate a sensation of touch, but all are “feedback” technologies, vibrating only after touching the screen (even if they are touched in the wrong place or by mistake). In contrast, Tactus’ technology creates real, physical buttons, where users can rest their fingers on the buttons, as on a mechanical keyboard, and input data by pressing down on the keys. Tactus is the only solution to both “orientation” and “confirmation” problems that are inherent in touch screens.





Possible Applications



Smart Phones
Tablets & Mobile Computers
eBook Readers
Gaming Devices
Personal Navigation Devices
Remote Controls
Medical Devices
Desktop Phones
Automotive Displays
Industrial Controls & Test Equipment





Tactus Technology


Tactus Technology is a venture-backed company headquartered in Fremont, California. Tactus was founded in 2008 to develop the next generation of touch interface.

Tactus’ patent-pending Tactile Layer™ technology has been experienced and demonstrated by some of the biggest names in the industry. From smartphone manufacturers to automotive companies, dynamic, tactile buttons provide a compelling solution to today’s human-machine interface (HMI) challenges. Tactus can be integrated into any device or system that has sacrificed tactile experience by integrating touch screen technology.

In December of 2011, Tactus closed $6M in Series A funding in a round led by Thomvest Ventures, with participation from other corporate and private investors.

For more information visit: http://www.tactustechnology.com







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