Tablets with Physical Touchscreen Buttons coming in 2013?

Tactus tablet

Tactus tablet

Tablets that will no longer just have the blank touchscreen to type on, but actual buttons and keys popping up on the screen whenever needed, is believed to make its appearance in late 2013 according to the tech company Tactus.

Tactus Technology, a developer of a dynamic user interface for electronic devices, have made completely transparent physical buttons that rise up from a touchscreen surface on demand through a technology called Tactus Tactile Layer Surface.

The technology was first heard of late in 2011, but little more was know about its development before this technology was seen in a 7-inch demonstration tablet at the CES in January 2013.

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Now things finally seem to start getting a move on. Tactus have just partnered with Synaptics, a manufacturer of displays, to produce a 7-inch reference tablet that Tactus will use to showcase their product to tablet manufacturers with, starting at the end of next month.

Furthermore, Tactus officials have said that they believe the first tablet with the Tactus display technology will appear in the last quarter this year, but declined to name any tablet companies.

To get an idea of what the Tactus tablet will look like, see this video by BBC taken at the CES in January, with Micah Yairi from Tactus explaining to Dave Lee of the BBC how it works.


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In addition, Tactus have made their own new video of the Tactus tactile technology as imagined on tablets.
(Video starts all black for the first few seconds.)

– Tom Bowen

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