Tactus: Buttons for Your Touchscreen (Video Demo)
Microfluidics: Tactus Introduces Morphing Touchscreen Buttons
Check it out: soon you can have buttons on your touchscreen device. The future is finally here.
Tactus Technology has unveiled the prototype for a morphing touchscreen display, in which elements of the screen elevate depending on what the user requires. For example, in phone mode, the dialpad numbers will rise up, like bubbles in a boiling pot.
Flat buttons have always been the downside of touchscreen technology Even with haptic feedback, your buttons only shake; that's not the same thing as buttons that press.
F*ckin' Buttons, How Do They Work?
The technology behind these sci-fi-looking buttons is called microfluidics. In this case, a liquid is run through tiny channels beneath the surface of the screen.
The video below shows the Tactus touchscreen prototype in action. We're not sure if other companies are working on similar technology; this is the first that we've seen.
Engadget got up close and personal with the Tactus touchscreen at the SID conference:
The small plateaus that protrude from the screen almost look wet and, when pressed, require a fair amount of pressure to push all the way down to the touchscreen. Although you can push the buttons flush, it's not necessary to register input; just tapping the screen (as with all non-resistive panels) will register your choice.