Tactus shape-shifting keyboard one step closer to commercial reality
It has been a couple years since we first shared the idea behind Tactus, a touch screen that literally creates physical buttons to accompany your on-screen keyboard. During that time, the California based tech-startup has been busily shoring up its team, technology, investors, and manufacturing partners. Over the past few months, Tactus has announced sales partnerships in South Korea and strategic alliances in Japan.
Now, Tactus has just announced it has signed a partnership with Wistron, a Taiwan-based original-design-manufacturing company. Wistron not only signed on as the manufacturer of the Touch 2.0 “Tactile Layer” solution, it too invested in Tactus as part of the startup’s Series B funding.
That means we will see final products rolling off the assembly line later this year starting with an integrated case and morphing screen for the iPad Mini. Users of other platforms should not be worried though, as a brief tour of Tactus’ website clearly shows they plan to bring this solution across the spectrum, Android, PC-environments, and automotive applications.
At this stage in the game, we still do not have an estimated availability date, nor do we have any information about pricing, but if these screens perform as advertised, we see no reason why such a product would not be very successful.
Tactus Technology morphing touch screens
Wistron Also Makes Strategic Investment in Tactus, Manufacturing Expertise Will Help Quickly Bring Tactus-Enhanced Mobile, PC and Consumer Devices to Market
April 17, 2014 – Fremont, CA and Taipei, Taiwan – Tactus Technology, Inc., the pioneering developer of on-demand tactile surfaces and Wistron Corporation, a $23B, Fortune® Global 500™ world leader in original design manufacturing (ODM), today announced a strategic manufacturing and investment partnership.
Tactus’ dynamic surfaces are a dramatic innovation in the Touch 2.0 revolution that consumers and OEMs are eagerly awaiting: screens that transform from a flat virtual interface into a physical three-dimensional interface when needed.
Wistron has also made a strategic investment in Tactus as part of the company’s Series B financing round and has been recognized by Tactus as its strategic manufacturing partner for the company’s award-winning Tactile Layer™ solution.
“We are pleased to welcome Wistron as both our strategic manufacturing partner and an investor – their commitment to this relationship and enabling cutting-edge products with tactile technology demonstrates their vision,” said Dr. Craig Ciesla, CEO and co-founder of Tactus. “Wistron’s manufacturing and integration experience will serve to rapidly accelerate the deployment of our tactile touchscreen solution. We look forward to shipping the first Tactus-enabled products from their high-volume facility in China later this year.”
“Tactus is the world leader in tactile touch solutions and we are delighted with this partnership,” said Robert Hwang, President and COO of Wistron Corporation. “This relationship reaffirms our focus on creating innovative way to provide further value-add to our clients by delivering this revolutionary technology. We believe the Tactus technology will transform the touchscreen landscape.”
About Tactus Technology, Inc.
Tactus Technology is the pioneering developer of a breakthrough dynamic user interface for mobile, computing, CE and automotive devices – completely transparent physical buttons that rise up from a touchscreen surface on demand. Tactus works with device manufacturers to integrate the Tactile Layer™ panel into a variety of touchscreen devices. Tactus is headquartered in Fremont, CA. For more information, visit www.tactustechnology.com or follow @tactustech on Twitter®.
About Wistron Corporation
Wistron Corporation is a Fortune 500 company and a Technology Service Provider supplying ICT products, services and systems to top branded companies worldwide. We are also devoted to increasing the value of our services through developing innovative solutions in the areas of green recycling, LCM and cloud computing. For more information, please visit www.wistron.com.
1. tricky (Posts: 25; Member since: 18 Dec 2013)
Now that is innovation. Combine that with the tactile haptic feedback touchscreens that allow you to feel textures like what Senseg or Disney are working on and you have yourself a winner.
10. jroc74 (Posts: 5192; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
Even if they cant...its still innovation.
We cant think because something doesn't become popular or fails it isnt innovation.
This is innovation at its finest.
2. fzacek (Posts: 2230; Member since: 26 Jan 2014)
I just can't see how this could work. But if they do pull it off and it works well, then that's pretty awesome.
9. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1469; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)
I don't doubt that this technology will one day exists. The problem is what if the keyboard experience lags or error and fail to lower back down. Then you'll have bumpy screen until it does XD However, I am interested to see how this technology will grow.
4. andynaija (Posts: 485; Member since: 08 Sep 2012)
To be honest when I see the way those keys rise out of a flat surface, it actually creeps me out for some reason. I think because it's something that moves, so it looks abnormal to me.
5. Lauticol (Posts: 217; Member since: 25 Jun 2011)
It would be a nice option for Blackberry fans. When this Project started, on-screen keyboards were really bad but now I don't think we need this! (At least in Android where you can change your keyboard or in iOS that has a very good stock one)
6. 0xFFFF (Posts: 3750; Member since: 16 Apr 2014)
I wonder if they solved the problem with the nanoparticles getting into peoples' fingertips yet...
7. express77 (unregistered)
Now that's innovation. Really impressive concept.
8. mattkl (Posts: 180; Member since: 01 Feb 2010)
I wonder how scratch prone it is, and if they can make stretchable screen protectors for this.
11. maxmppower (Posts: 48; Member since: 16 Aug 2013)
If they don't finish it, google/samsung will.