Touch Screens with Texture

Fat FingerOkay, this post has nothing really to do with sound, but it does have everything to do with technology.  I am a notorious late adopter of new technologies, I think the biggest reason may be due to me having plenty of  the “Show Me State” of Missouri’s blood in me (I’m naturally skeptical, and notoriously cynical), and maybe a little cheap too.  Let me give you some examples of my coming late to many a technology party.  I was one of the last of my friends, and maybe even one of the last humans, to upgrade to CD’s over cassettes.  My reason?  Well, I had a pretty extensive collection of cassettes, with several band’s complete set of studio albums.  The cost and thought of replacing it all was daunting.  Then, just as I was getting my CD library filled, the whole MP3/downloadable music thing began to take off, and . . . well . . . yes, I was among the last humans to adopt that tech too.  Cellphones?  Why yes, I was the last of my friends to join the cellular age, mostly due to their basically telling me that I “needed” to get one, because they were tired of not being able to reach me when I wasn’t home.  I was one of the last people to buy a laptop (that was mostly due to me being too cheap, and poor to justify the expense).  I was also pretty darn late to the “smartphone” thing too, and if it weren’t for a package deal that was offered when I upgraded, I still wouldn’t have a tablet either.  Which brings me to today’s post.

I have a love/hate relationship with my smartphone and tablet; for many quirky personality reasons; but one definite ergonomic reason – the touchscreen.  I don’t think I am alone in my general feelings about the still, if you stop to think about it, amazing technology that is a touchscreen.  How many times have you been tapping out a text, email, or tweet, click send, and then realize the number of typos in your message, or the dreaded, and remarkably dumb, auto-correct decided to “correct” a word that suddenly makes you message nonsensical, which then makes you feel dumb and mad, so you then quickly send a correction.  If the point of these smartphones and tablets are supposed to improve our efficiency, then these touchscreens, and the not so smart auto-correct, certainly erases a lot of that efficiency.  Sure there are smartphones and tablets with actual QWERTY keypads, but they either take away the screen size, and/or add weight and increase the size altogether, all of which kind of takes away from these technological marvels.  I mean the screens on smartphones are already small enough without shrinking it more for a keyboard, and no one wants to walk around with something as heavy as a brick in their pocket or purse.  So, it looked like we were stuck with either having to wait until we evolve tiny fingers, or just live with fat fingering, and then editing, every email, text, and tweet we want to send – until now.

Tactus Technology, based in California, has created and introduced a clear, flat screen, that actual keys “grow” out of it whenever you need the key pad at CES 2013 in Las Vegas (see video below):

Tactus Technology – CES 2013 from Tactus Technology Inc. on Vimeo.

This may be a technology that I just might adopt earlier than what is usual for me.

Read and watch this video from BBC News at CES 2013 in Las Vegas for more even more information.