Touchscreens are designed for tapping and swiping, but typing isn’t actually enjoyable on them. Tactus Technology is trying to change that, forever.
The startup is getting ready to release its Phorm accessory for the iPad mini — a case and screen protector mashup that enables small “finger guides” to rise out from the screen. They kind of look like buttons, but you can’t actually press them.
Rather, the small bumps are there to guide your fingers and help you avoid typos.
Tactus uses a micro fluid panel for the screen protector, which enables small bubbles to appear on the iPad’s display. In layman terms, when you flip the switch, small pockets within the screen protector fill up with liquid to form tiny bumps.
The case actually does make typing easier, but the finger guides aren’t as noticeable as you might think. You can feel them slightly when typing using the Phorm case, but it wasn’t a drastic change. It does make it slightly easier to keep your fingers in line, especially if you’re in a situation where you can’t really keep your eyes locked on the screen as you’re typing.
It’s sort of an alternative for haptic feedback, which is available as an option on a lot of Android phones. With haptic feedback, the key slightly vibrates after you’ve touched it to let you know that you’ve pressed the letter you hoped to.
Instead, the Phorm recreates the real touch sensation, which will make it easier for your fingers to remember where the keys are similar to an real keyboard, according to the company.
Tactus Technology only makes a case for the iPad mini now, but it’ll soon release an iPhone 6 Plus version too.
Craig Ciesla, Tactus Technology co-founder and CEO on further availability:
“The iPhone 6 Plus [version] will follow six months after Phorm for the iPad mini and we are planning to launch Phorm for the iPad Air followed by Phorm for the iPhone 6. The great thing about this technology is it can be applied to practically any touch screen, and even built directly into devices, so Phorm is just the beginning.”
The Phorm is available now at a pre-order price of $99, but that price will jump to $149 when it officially ships this summer.