The seemingly limitless possibilities of what smartphones can do are in part a function of their flat glass screens. Unconstrained by the presence of physical terrain, the glass panel can become a map, a keyboard, a gaming interface, etc. Buttons — visual ones — come and go as an app’s designer pleases.
But what if actual buttons — 3-dimensional protuberances — could rise out of the flatness of your smartphone and then vanish without a trace? Smartphones (and pretty much any other flat-screened device) could retain their visual flexibility, and then gain some haptic abilities. You could text on a tactile keyboard, and then go right back to swiping through your Twitter feed.
This is the premise of a new touchscreen technology from Tactus Technologies, which had its first public demonstration of its Tactile Layer component this week in Boston.
Read more. [Image: Tactus Technologies]