For tablet- and smartphone-owners who love their touchscreens but occasionally yearn for the tactile feel of a physical keyboard, Fremont, Calif.-based company Tactus has unveiled new technology that unites both features on one gadget.
It developed a tactile user interface for touchscreen devices: transparent physical buttons that emerge from a tablet or smartphone's surface on demand. To see the technology in action, watch the video here.
"With the buttons enabled, users can push and type or rest their fingers as they would with any physical button or keyboard," Tactus explains on its website. "When the buttons are disabled, they recede into the screen, becoming invisible and leaving a smooth, seamless flat touchscreen with maximum viewing area."
This "Tactile Layer" technology integrates with a touchscreen device by replacing its cover glass.
While current smartphones include the option of haptic feedback, which causes on-screen keys to vibrate upon touch, Tactus says it's not the same as physical buttons.
Would you use this technology on your smartphone or tablet?