The early adopters?
The pr0n industry of course ;) just a little more air...
Researchers have already tried to overcome the lack of physical feedback on touchscreens by adding on vibration and sounds. But boffins at one university have developed a touchscreen display that literally sports pop-up buttons. Can't see the video? Download Flash Player from Adobe.com Chris Harrison and Scott Hudson at …
They haven't developed the first "latex-based touchscreen" - they've developed a surface where pre-defined shapes can be raised or lowered, hardly a touchscreen. Hardly something that revolutionary either...
They use a projector and cameras for the touchscreen functionality - same as the home made touchscreens many have done across the net.
... there's a few things that would need to be addressed. The button layout doesn't appear to be flexible enough to offer different numbers, sizes or types of buttons, as it's limited to the location of the inflatable areas behind the screen. For example, how would you switch between a QWERTY keyboard and a numeric keypad?
It's also prone to vandelism - just imagine the wanton destruction an individual armed merely with a pin could inflict. One prick and it's all over, so to speak.
Paris ... as she knows all about pricks ...
This sounds really good, then you watch the video and realise it can only create buttons that are built in to the screen there is no dynamic button creation really. Its like a screen which can hide its buttons and then display them again. What would be good if it could create buttons on a generic screen of any type and size decided by the application otherwise its just as limited as having actual buttons for example at the side of a cash machine.
The clickable pad, like you see on the latest MacBooks from Apple, provide ample tactile feedback for sighted people.
Only blind people, or people with applications in which their dashboard needs to be used without direct visual cues, would find this useful, as it is bound to be both expensive and less-than-robust.
I suspect that blind people would want a denser information display, such as a braille strip, or braille keys.
It is cool, though.
OK you can dump the projector for a flat screen of some kind or even pre-printed backing. But how do you get rid of the need for a compressed air supply?
As a research tool for studying UI design and ergonomics OK. Cool toy OK. Actual usage IRl?
Tactile feedback could be attractive in some cases but I think the ideal would be some kind of electroactive gel that expands/contracts on small voltage levels (current pulses would have to diffuse through the gel. This is unlikely to be very fast). Done fast enough the whole face of your phone buzzes when your on vibrate, eliminating the buzzer and eliminating the buzzer parts. This sort of thing gets phone mfgs quite excited.
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