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Tactus Touch Screens Want to Give Your Screen an On-demand Physical Keyboard

Tactus Technology understands that the physical keyboard is essentially dead because people want to have more screen real estate for gaming and other highly interactive apps. But what if they could produce an on-demand physical keyboard that popped up through your touch screen? Think about the difference this could make in gaming controls or texting for those that miss their old physical keyboard. Seem impossible? In the video below, Tactus shows off their vision and expects to have the technology for it ready to ship by the middle of 2013.

Via:  Cnet

Cheers Andrew!

  • JaySee08

    : I always thought it was more fun to play games on my Original Droid. The keyboard was perfect!

  • oooo

  • Ryan

    Looks like it is 2 layers of a film that allows you to magnetically polarize any area of each independently creating areas that attract and repel each other (Raised areas). My guess is you can vary the level of “repelling” to adjust the level of resistance (feedback) felt when depressing the button. Pretty cool technology.

  • calculatorwatch

    I remember seeing this when it was just a concept shortly after the iPhone first came out. I didn’t think it would happen any time soon and I still don’t think it has a great shot. It just seems too squishy to really be satisfying when you press the buttons and certainly not as good as glass for plain touchscreen use. Oh well, I still think this will be the future once they can really get it right.

  • eddieonofre

    Tactus A New Dimension Of Touch…….

    LOL sounds like a moto for a new condom

  • Ahku Droid

    I have a few concerns for this tech.

    1. The screen will likely have to be a softer material like plastic instead of glass and therefore be prone to excessive scratching.
    2. The “fluid based” path they raise the keys with sound like if dropped or hit incorrectly could puncture and stop working.
    3. The constant change of the screen would likely drain lots of battery power.

  • If the touch screen idea doesn’t work seamlessly:

    Re-engineer it to “inflate” when phone’s accelerometer detects a 1.5 second freefall. It should work like an airbag for cellphones. Today’s and tomorrow’s devices are rapidly becoming more expensive. Maybe this could help when I drop my phone on the ground… or in the toilet?

    • Andrew Bernath

      In 1.5 seconds of free fall the phone will have fallen 36 feet. Probably no airbag that can be inflated from the surface of the phone is going to save it. Assuming you held the phone at about 5 feet off the ground, you’d have to detect free fall AND inflate the airbag in less than 0.3 seconds.

      • Andrew Bernath

        Sorry, less than 0.55 seconds. Forgot to take a square root… 🙂

        • marc

          Nerd alert! (Sorry … it had to be done)

          • asdfasdf

            Someone with a bright future and a nice career alert! (Sorry… it had to be done.)

        • Steve Schneider

          And it has to accelerate, where’s your formula sir?

          • Andrew Bernath

            Standard motion formula from calculus/kinetics section of physics.
            x(t) = x0 + v0*t + (a*t^2)/2. Set initial position to 5 ft, initial velocity to 0 ft/s, acceleration to -32.2 ft/s^2, and x(t) = 0. Solve this for t and you see that dropping an object from 5 feet (even accounting for acceleration), the phone will hit the ground in just over half a second. Of course we can nitpick over air resistance, but seeing as how we are nowhere near reaching terminal velocity, I think we can likely ignore any frictional effects of air.

      • CivilDroid

        you have been owned, Chad Stevens

        • Andrew Bernath

          No harm intended, just a friendly physics comment. I’m not trying to “own” anyone, just reminding and educating.

  • RoadsterHD1

    WOW that is incredible. Can’t wait for that to come on our phone.

  • Jon

    By the time this is perfected, the world will have long been over it. I personally would not want this on my phone.

  • RedPandaAlex

    All else being equal, I’d rather have a physical keyboard than not. But I’m not getting another non-nexus device again. So hopefully one of the five nexi we’re supposed to be getting in the fall will have a keyboard.

  • boostedcx

    Only newbs no longer have physical keyboards. “Essentially dead”? DROID4 FTW. How exactly do physical keyboards REDUCE screen real estate? I think you have that one backwards.

  • nightscout13

    There’s always a drawback, like for example, you wont be able to see the screen clearly, and it will scratch easy.

  • delta504

    I don’t see this becoming mainstream. In the world of devices getting slimmer and expected to be small sliver of glass in the future (Day made of glass anyone?), touch screen or even gesture above screen will be the direction. I also don’t see how they can make this technology seamless, even from the video it looks like when “deflated” the surface is not smooth at all.

  • I still wish I had a physical keyboard. It’s the only and only thing I miss about my Droid 3.

    • Once this tech is perfected, this WOULD BE a physical keyboard.

      • RedPandaAlex

        No it wouldn’t. It’s a raised touch screen. It doesn’t actually click in when you press it.

        • it’ll be a dynamic interface. what makes you think that they wont be able to retract a button on a touch event when they can raise it from a flat surface to begin with.

        • smartguy05

          They way they describe it, is that the “buttons” are oil filled and you have to press down to activate the touch screen. Not sure if its exactly what we want but, here’s hoping.

      • joe

        Still takes up the majority of the screen. Pass.

  • OMJ

    I feel like the screen would break very easily.

    • The tactus surface is a extra layer on top of the display. Why would it break?

      • OMJ

        Seems like it could puncture. I mean the tactus portion and not the screen itself

        • I would hope they would test it so this wouldn’t happen.

          • OMJ

            Im sure they test but they can only do so much with something like this. It just looks fragile which is my entire point. I dont think there is an easy way around that fragility without sacrificing other things.

            I just think a lot of stupid people are going to put phone in their pocket or purse with the keyboard up and their keys are gonna pop it.

  • This would only be useful if the “buttons” retracted and were made flat when you pressed them (and then popped back up when you removed your finger), which would give you the feedback of a physical keyboard. If they just stayed raised all the time even when pressed, that doesn’t do much good.

  • Philip A. Kaiser

    And Apple files a lawsuit for patent infringement in 5….4…3….

    • Michael Johnson

      Hah. Ha ha. Well done, Sir.

      • Philip A. Kaiser


  • It looks like the screen is growing blisters.

  • i thought they were going with a hologram key board on the next generation of phones but i kinda like this idea

  • Akilig

    This is what I had in mind when the Blackberry Storm rumors first came out. I was sure the screen was going to be like this.

  • littleperry04

    that is bad A$$. i miss my OG with its keyboard. heck yeah!

  • CivilDroid

    This is pretty damn sweet! Seriously, partner this with the marketing skills of Prestige Worldwide and they wouldn’t be able to make them fast enough 🙂

    • KleenDroid

      Boats and ho’s

      • EC8CH
        • KleenDroid

          Spreken Ze Dick… Lol. That movie was so stupid yet so funny.

        • Philip A. Kaiser

          I am touching your. drum set with my balls! Lol

      • CivilDroid

        Nachos, lemonheads and my dads boat..

    • asdfasdf

      We sail around the world, goin’ port to port!

  • Ryan

    if this is coming out mid 2013 how do they expect to apply it to the iP* 5 when it comes out this september?

  • Cool technology.

  • termiNader

    mindfuck. how does the glass just transform itself on demand? I don’t feel like phone manufactures will adopt this though.

    • RoadsterHD1

      I don’t think it’s glass. I think it would have to be a special type of material. Does it scratch easy? that’s the question…

  • I can’t see the video from my Android browser, it says I need flash (which I already have of course). Nice!

    • The Android browser supports flash. You must be using Chrome. Just switch browsers and it’ll play for yha.

    • dickard_caincock


      • Steve Schneider


      • snot


  • Scott Andreae

    get a 5row one of these on gs3 perfect phone

  • EC8CH

    Step 1: Purchase this technology
    Step 2: Apply it to male contraception products
    Step 3: Profit

    • Teabling

      Rule of Acquisition #40: She can touch your lobes, but never your latinum.

      • EC8CH

        Rule of Acquisition #284:
        Deep down, everyone’s a Ferengi.

        • teevirus

          Rule of Acquisition #190 Hear All, Trust Nothing