Skip to comments.Keyboard bubbles up from touch screen on demand
Posted on 02/13/2013 7:19:09 AM PST by Freeport
A startup creates a physical keyboard for touch-screen devices, like smartphones or tablets, that appears when you need to type and disappears when you're done.
A few weeks ago, right before the new BlackBerry 10 phones were announced, I dragged a cameraman to San Francisco's Financial District during lunch hour and asked random strangers to name BlackBerry's best feature. Care to guess what the results of my highly unscientific poll were? Even iPhone and Android users agreed -- the famed keyboard is BlackBerry's top trait.
Increasingly, we "mobile device addicts" are favoring our smartphones and tablets over our traditional computers to meet our digital demands. Trouble is, a lot of us still despise typing on these beloved touch-screen devices. One Silicon Valley startup has created a new kind of keyboard that could help reduce typos and other fat-fingered mistakes.
Fremont, Calif.-based, Tactus Technology uses microfluidics to make physical keys bubble up from the surface of a touch screen when you need to type and disappear, when you don't. Microfluidics may sound foreign, but if you've operated an inkjet printer you've used the technology.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.cnet.com ...
But don't worry, O-Bambi will find this evil entrepreneurship sourcery and strip them of all profits!
Touchscreens are “newfangled” and are not likely to see widespread adoption for 20 years or so. Kids today who’ve grown up with mobile devices and touchscreens will likely become accustomed to touchscreen keyboards and controls, and as they get older and take over workplaces as engineers and executives, the old-school MAK (Mouse And Keyboard) set ups will wane much like tactile-response keyboards (the clickety-clack types) and non-wheel mice.
Personally, it’s unnatural for me to reach up to touch my monitor for anything, so using an on-screen keyboard is still very foreign and difficult. I learned to type on a standard QWERTY keyboard and use a mouse to navigate, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon, even with tactile response touch screens.
I laugh every time I hear someone predict the retirement of desktop and laptop machines. Those people need to try and develop those small, smart devices on one of those devices. I run my dev environment on my lap screen and a 24 inch screen and it still doesn’t let me see all the stuff I have up (Visual Studio, Sql Management Console, Sql profiler, LinqPad, IIS, a web page or two, work flow tool (TFS or FogBugz, and sometime Remote Desktop).
I have a 30” TV setup for my home gaming system. I also managed a VMware system through a console window, and I couldn’t do that on a tablet.
I managed over 1000 Windows servers and several Linux environments at work, and my puny 22” monitor isn’t enough for everything I have to do on a daily basis, much less allow me to work through scripting Powershell.
I agree that tablets have a niche, mostly casual, and businesses would be remiss to allow them to dominate their workspaces until such a time as they are capable of true multi-tasking and development. Tablets and “smart devices” are just not practical in today’s business world.
I seem to recall an early touchscreen cellphone effort, circa 2005-6 or so, with tactile keys embedded in the touchscreen.
It was awful.
Somebody please help me out on which phone this was. Blackberry?
I love my iPhone but cannot get the hang of typing on glass. I even got a touch-typing app to practice up, but there's just no way -- without feeling keys -- you can approach anything like touch-typing.
Completely agree. I learned to touch-type (very fast) and these fake one-finger "keyboards" on glass drive me crazy because the production is so slow. My dumbphone (not a smartphone) has a tiny slide-out qwerty keyboard -- better than nothing but still just this side of useless.
I actually bought an iPhone case with a slide-out keyboard that runs on Bluetooth. It's slick and it works, but the sloppy key action made me decide to stick with the glass and get as proficient as I could.
I’ve seen those advertised and was thinking about one if I ever got a smartphone. Thanks for the tip!!