Just when you thought touchscreens couldn’t get any better…
As is always the case with a conferences such as CES, we’ve seen some great technological advancements on display over the last few days. Included within these are two very interesting progressions in touchscreen technology: a morphing display from Tactus and the flexible display from Samsung. If the suggested use-cases do become mainstream for these two technologies, they could be very powerful indeed.
The morphing display from Tactus
Over the last decade we’ve become accustomed to using touchscreens that are as smooth as possible. The thought of buttons magically raising up from beneath the touchscreen seems alien, impossible almost, but this is the technology that Tactus has developed and expects to have available in consumer devices by late 2013/early 2014.
With this new morphing technology, the user is able to simply double tap the screen while in a messaging app, causing physical buttons to raise up out of the screen and appearing in a bubble-like format. Reports suggest that shapes and layouts can be adjusted as necessary, which will hopefully ensure compatibility with third party keyboard apps such as Swiftkey and Skype. This could go even further to bridge the gap between touchscreen and physical keyboard devices.
The official Tactus paper explaining how the technology works is available here and there’s also a good summary over at stuff.tv
Samsung Youm flexible display
Flexible or ‘bendy’ displays have been talked about for a while now, but use-cases that are actually practical haven’t been demonstrated all that much. The video below shows how Samsung envisions one use of bendy screens. Rather than stopping at the bezel, the display continue to the very edge of the handset. This means that when the handset is placed flat on the desk for example, the edge of the display can display scrolling updates and alerts. Ultimately bendy screen should also lead to thinner devices that are harder to break.