Tactus Shows Us Their Tactile Touchscreens at CES 2013

We last spoke about Tactus back in June and we were very cautiously optimistic about what the technology could enable. Currently, most modern touch screens force you to use either tactile physical buttons or a touch screen. This compromise results in users being forced to either give up screen size for tactile buttons or to give up the accuracy of tactile buttons in favor of screen size.

Tactus has resolved this issue by creating buttons that literally raise out of the touch screen of your phone. We explained in our original article how this was accomplished. Now, we’ve actually had a chance to test out the new Tactus technology and get more details about it’s current capabilities.

Currently, the Tactus technology works with a simple press of a button. However, there is one major limitation that we believe they need to overcome in order to become a truly real world solution. That is to have the ability to dynamically change the sizes and shapes of the tactile touchscreen buttons based on the types of keyboards. Currently, the technology can only enable the tactile buttons based on predefined buttons. They cannot adapt to the user’s keyboard or button needs. They can, however, adjust the sensitivity of the touch screen to adapt to different actuations of the buttons for more or less sensitive buttons to prevent things like accidental key presses.

They gave us a chance to test out the new keyboards that they brought with them to CES. They actually had a game that they had developed as a typing test to measure the accuracy and speed of typing using the Tactus keyboard. Interestingly enough, we actually had the highest score of any person that had actually tried the typing gaming that wasn’t a Tactus employee (like our demo man Nate).

Imagine being able to have a full dpad on your phone as well as joysticks and the like. Being able to create a tactile keyboard that fits your needs and wants. Bigger buttons for bigger screens and smaller buttons for smaller screens. The possibilities are endless. That, we believe is the holy grail for this technology and we can’t wait for it to happen.