Thursday, January 9, 2014

Tactus adds tactile layer to your smartphone or tablet

Touchscreens might be great, but there are those that simply can't get used to typing in a flat, button-less, pane of glass. We've talked about Tactus a few years ago, and although they've been silent for a while, they're about to bring their tactile feedback system to market, allowing you to add a touchable layer to your touchscreen keyboard.

Unlike a rubberized plastic layer you place over your touchscreen, this Tactus uses a microfluidic system that enables to raise small "bubbles" on the screen, providing your with tactile information. Back then, these bubbles had a nasty side effect, being visible when they weren't active and affecting the normal touchscreen use. But now that seems to have been fixed, and it looks like the touchable layer becomes completely "unnoticeable" when turned off.

The only drawback is that these bubbles seem to be in fixed places - according to which model you buy. This might be fine for systems where you have a single system-wide keyboard like iOS; but can become a problem for Android, where you can use and install different keyboard, each having completely different layouts/sizes/etc.

Maybe in the future this system will evolve into a high-resolution micro-bubble layer, with each bubble acting as a pixel you can turn on or off, and that way you could even even create dynamic braille screens for the visually impaired. ... Someday... :)

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