Wouldn’t it be amazing if the iPhone’s touch screen could magically go from flat to buttons when you want to make a call or need to type?
Touchscreens that transform from flat to tactile in seconds are no longer science fiction, they are Tactus touch screens.
Watch the demo of Tactus touch screens to see how they use “microfluidic technology” to create buttons on touchscreens in an array of configurations.
Tactus Technology won’t be ready for the iPhone 5, but the company reports that the first products will hit the market in mid-2013.
Teh Tactus Touch Screen technology goes beyond the haptic vibrations that tell users when they have touched the display, and deliver real keys that can be touched. Users can rest their fingers on the keys and push to activate a keypress.
When the keys are no longer needed, they disappear and the touchscreen becomes flat again.
Tactus claims that their Tactile Layer is no thicker than a standard cover glass found on smartphones. The Tactile Layer is placed on the existing touch screen and works with touch technologies already on the market.
Perhaps the most exciting part, aside from the fact that buttons are rising out of flat display, is that the button layouts, shapes and sizes are customizable.
This technology could completely change the way we play games on the iPhone, iPad and Android smartphones.
Imagine if developers could tap into an API of buttons shapes that deliver real controls for direction and action right on the display of the device.
This would solve one of the biggest issues with mobile games, and it wouldn’t require users to lug around a bulky controller or control case just to play games without constantly missing the mark.
Apple patented a similar looking technology for advanced haptic feedback, but its tough to tell how close it is to Tactus’ display.
I certainly wouldn’t complain about finding a touch screen that can turn into a physical keyboard or controller on my next iPhone or Android smartphone.
How about you?