Touchscreen keyboard can appear, disappear

Feb. 13, 2013 at 5:45 PM

FREMONT, Calif., Feb. 13 (UPI) -- A U.S. tech firm says it's developed a touchscreen keyboard that rises from the smooth screen surface to allow text input and then disappears when not needed.

Tactus Technology, based in California, says its technology, based on microfluidics, created physical keys that "bubble" up from the screen for typing then flatten out, leaving the touchscreen completely smooth, CNET reported Wednesday.

The touchscreen panel has channels under its surface filled with a non-toxic fluid that can be pressurized to push up the surface of the panel, creating a physical key.

Varying the pressure can create keys with a soft, gel-like feel or harder like traditional plastic keys, Tactus said.

"The vision that we had was not just to have a keyboard or a button technology, but really to make a fully dynamic surface," Tactus co-founder Micah Yairi said. "So you can envision the entire surface being able to raise and lower depending on what the application is that's driving it."

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