New smartphone screen has keys that rise out of it
Hey, ever want to have your touchscreen just suddenly pop a bunch of buttons out, and then have those buttons seamlessly fade into the surface? It’s a lot closer than you think.
Here’s a video explaining it a bit:
For those who hate watching videos, here’s how the technology works. Underneath the surface of the touchscreen, there’s a series of channels and a clear oily substance. If you need, say, a keyboard, it flips open these channels, and the oily stuff flows into the channels, inflating areas on the screen like a water balloon, giving you buttons. Switch it off, and it disappears. The screen otherwise works just like a touchscreen; if you didn’t see the keyboard pop out, you’d never know the difference.
It looks neat, and there are, in theory, a lot of applications. One downside, so far, is the fact that the channels can only be set in one way right now. That is, if you want a pop up keyboard, the screen can’t reconfigure to create a pop-up gamepad; you only get one or the other.
But it looks really cool, and it’s unlikely handset manufacturers will turn down something that looks so neat.