Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Cellphones Displays Science Technology

Buttons That Morph Out of Your Touchscreen 134

kkleiner writes "Wouldn't it be awesome if our tablets and smartphones could have buttons that morphed out of the touchscreen, and then went away again when we didn't need them? It sounds like magic, but now it is reality. Created by Tactus Technology, a Fremont, California-based start-up, Tactus is a deformable layer that sits on top of a touchscreen sensor and display. 'The layer is about 0.75mm to 1mm thick, and at its top sits a deformable, clear layer 200 nm thick. Beneath the clear layer a fluid travels through micro-channels and is pushed up through tiny holes, deforming the clear layer to create buttons or shapes. The buttons or patterns remain for however long they are needed, just for a few seconds or for hours when you’re using your iPad to write that novel. And because the fluid is trapped inside the buttons, they can remain for however long without additional power consumption. They come or go pretty quickly, taking only a second to form or disappear.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Buttons That Morph Out of Your Touchscreen

Comments Filter:
  • Re:Fixed? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @06:47AM (#40230449)

    The difference (aside from Latin vs. Greek etymology) is simple -- haptics is a subset of tactile feedback, and refers to systems with providing feedback through actuators, whereas tactile feedback can include stuff like the snap-action in a real keyboard.

  • Ya flexible is good (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Wednesday June 06, 2012 @08:08AM (#40230803)

    That's the thing people forget about hardness is that it is a double edged sword. So they are right in their marketing that Gorilla Glass, and others like it, are very hard. So they are difficult to scratch and so on. Sounds strong... However what it really means is they are brittle. They have a higher failure point, but when they do fail they break pretty badly. For real strength, some flexibility, give, is what you actually want.

    An area where you can see this is knives. Far and away most quality knives are steel, including those made for adverse environments. However a bit of research turns up that you can get advanced ceramic knives. They are much tougher, they don't need sharpening basically ever, and they are real easy to clean. Why then are these not the exclusive knives in all high end kitchens? For that matter, why aren't they the knives of choice whenever you can afford it (they are expensive)?

    The reason is they are brittle, they don't bend. So they are "stronger" than steel in a sense, in that you put pressure on them that would cause a steel knife to flex and they hold fast. However you increase the pressure to a point and then they just fail, shatter, whereas the steel knife would still bend, and then come back. So they are brilliant for cutting vegetables, meats with no bones, and so on but they aren't going to replace your carving knife.

    Same shit with phone screens. Ya the move from plastic to glass means that they are more resistant to minor scratches. However hard impacts, a proper plastic will do a better job of handling.

Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith. - Paul Tillich, German theologian and historian