Right after we got used to touchscreen keyboards and threw away our old devices full off buttons, a company wants to bring those keys back. Tactus Technology invented a user interface, where completely transparent physical inputs rise up from the touch-screen surface on demand, all controlled by the applications.
One could say that for everyday users it’s completely useless to have buttons or physical feedback while typing: most of the people even switch off the haptic feedback while typing on Android. Nevertheless, it could be of use for people who need assistance, or work in a less ideal environment – say, a DJ playing and using an iPad on the stage, and with the Tactile Layer finds all the controls without looking.
We will see. Based on what the guys write on their webpage, the technology could come into our lives as soon as by tomorrow:
With the buttons enabled, users can push and type or rest their fingers as they would with any physical button or keyboard. When the buttons are disabled, they recede into the screen, becoming invisible and leaving a smooth, seamless flat touch-screen with maximum viewing area.
Our Tactile Layer technology easily integrates with today’s touchscreen-based devices (smart phones, tablets, personal navigation systems, gaming devices, etc.) by simply replacing the front layer of the display stack, known as the “lens”, “window” or “cover glass”. Our dynamic Tactile Layer component is the same thickness as the layer it replaces and requires no change to the underlying display or touch sensor.