Science & Tech
Check out the tablet with a disappearing physical keyboard that re-appears when touched
If you love tablets but hate trying to type on them, a new tablet from a little-known tech company may re-kindle your love of the flatscreen. Because this flatscreen does not stay flat -- physical keyboard buttons can pop out of nowhere on this tablet screen, giving you an actual keyboard with disappearing, re-appearing keypad buttons for typing.
The company is called Tactus Technology, and their amazing instant pop-up keyboard is called a "dynamic tactile touchscreen". Tactus does not ever plan on introducing their own new line of tablets. Instead, they plan on selling this technology to OEMs -- original equipment manufacturers, the people who make your iPads and Android tablets -- and they will hopefully get this astounding feature onto as many tablets as possible in the future.
The tablet with the disappearing tactile keyboard was unveiled to the world last week at the CES (Consumer Electronic Show) in Las Vegas. They call it a "lumpy tablet", a nickname which does not do justice to the awesomeness and glamor potential of this technology. The disappearing keyboard has to been seen to be believed, and you can see the lumpy tablet in action in this a video from the BBC.
If you can imagine Saran Wrap instantly turning into bubble wrap, that's sort of how this revolutionary flatscreen works. The tablet screen remains totally flat during normal use. On your command, though, the flat screen will instantly "grow" small, bubble-like buttons that will miraculously pop out of your screen, allowing you to type with the full power of actual keyboard buttons.
You can imagine that fewer and fewer people would be damning their autocorrect if they could type their texts and emails on a screen that actually had physical keyboard buttons.
These clever inventors over at Tactus Technology plan on having this innovative screen in your hot little hands by the end of the year. "We expect to be in production in later 2013, early 2014 in mobile devices," Tactus executive Micah Yairi told the BBC. "Ultimately this could be used for game controllers, automobiles, basically any screen, any touchscreen basically could use this."
In other words, Tactus Technology is demonstrating their technology here on a tablet, but the "lumpy" technology could be used on any type of screen. And since the buttons magically morph into existence, they can morph into different configurations other than just a keyboard -- they could turn into a gaming console control pad, for instance.