Morphing, haptic touchscreens

The next big innovation in touchscreen technology could be the possibility to morph elements out of the screen in order to give human hands some sort of haptic and tactile feedback. Tactus Technology, a Fremont, California-based start-up, Tactus is a deformable layer that sits on top of a touchscreen sensor and display.

Tactus uses a layer which is about 0.75mm to 1mm thick and which contains a deformable, clear layer 200 nm thick top side. 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.