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11 Jan 2013

Tactus showcases the world's first tactile touchscreen tablet

California-based Tactus has showcased the world's first fully-integrated dynamic touchscreen tablet at this year's CES, which can turn a typical flat tablet screen into a real keyboard with buttons.

When needed, the keyboard 'rises' from the tablet, before disappearing when the typing is done.

As the company explains, its Tactus Tactile Layer panel is the world's first deformable tactile surface that creates dynamic physical buttons that users can actually see and feel in advance of entering data into the device.

Microfluidic technology is used to create physical buttons that rise from the touchscreen to give users the experience of operating a physical keyboard.

The Tactile Layer panel is a completely flat, transparent, dynamic surface that adds no extra thickness to the standard touchscreen display since it replaces a layer of the already existing display stack.

But when triggered, the thin layer deforms and buttons or shapes of a specific height, size and firmness appear on the surface of the screen. Users can feel, press down and interact with these physical buttons just like they would use keys on a keyboard. The buttons recede into the surface and become invisible when they are no longer needed.

The company has demonstrated its technology on prototype Google Android tablet, and hopes to see its tactile touchscreen in production by late 2013.

Key applications include Smartphones, Tablets & Mobile Computers, eBook Readers, Gaming Devices, Personal Navigation Devices, Remote & Home Controls, Medical Devices, Automotive Displays and Industrial Controls & Test Equipment.

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