Tiny Robots Add Physical Controls and Dials To Giant Touchscreens

If there's still one complaint we all have about touchscreens, it's that we sometimes miss physical buttons. Whether it's a game controller, or a keyboard, having tactile feedback is often a better solution—sometimes. Which is what led to the development of these tiny robot Thumbles that roll onto a touchscreen as… » 4/30/14 12:00pm 4/30/14 12:00pm

I Wouldn't Be Here Without the 1982 World's Fair

On a recent trip home to Knoxville, Tennessee, I had a flashback. Not an acid flashback (I don't think). We were weaving through the hilly streets of downtown in the shadow of the Sunsphere, a discoball of a monument built for the 1982 World's Fair, and suddenly I was there in the crowd, staring at the future. » 4/18/14 12:25pm 4/18/14 12:25pm

Magnetic Building Blocks That Interact With Touchscreen Tablet Apps

There's a fear that touchscreen devices like smartphones and tablets will one day turn kids into lifeless, imagination-less zombies. But technology isn't all bad. And to bridge the gap between the toys of yesteryear and tomorrow, researchers at the National Taiwan University created a building block toy that can… » 3/31/14 2:52pm 3/31/14 2:52pm

A Brilliant In-Car Touchscreen Interface You Never Need To Look At

Touchscreen displays in our cars aren't going away anytime soon. So designer Matthaeus Krenn figured that now was as good a time as any to radically improve their interfaces, replacing grids of ugly buttons and options with an elegant and minimal multi-touch UI —-that the driver doesn't need to look at. » 2/19/14 4:28pm 2/19/14 4:28pm

Floating Touchscreen Displays Keep ATM Screens Invisible To Others

If this next-generation display technology developed by Asukanet ever goes past the concept stage, the days of huddling over an ATM display to block your balances from prying eyes could be over. With a viewing angle of just plus or minus 20 degrees, the Aerial Imaging Plate has a very specific sweet spot that ensures… » 10/09/13 2:40pm 10/09/13 2:40pm

Disney Lets You Feel Textures On a Touchscreen By Zapping Your Fingers

In an attempt to give touchscreens another level of interactivity, researchers at Disney have come up with a remarkable way to generate tactile feedback as fingers slide across a smooth glass display. And all without deforming or changing the shape of the display in the process. Imagine a touchscreen keyboard where… » 10/08/13 3:40pm 10/08/13 3:40pm

The World's Thinnest Keyboard Is Just Half a Millimeter Thick

You know how papers can mysteriously go missing amongst the sea of documents strewn about your desk? The same thing could soon happen to your keyboard, thanks to the work of England-based research firm CSR. It's developed a touch keyboard that measures less than half a millimeter thick, making it the perfect… » 9/03/13 8:46am 9/03/13 8:46am

A Robotic Moving Touchscreen That Touches Back

Microsoft Research has come up with a clever way to let users actually feel what they're interacting with on a touchscreen. And it doesn't involve complex finger contraptions, or bulky gloves. Instead, the researchers simply installed the display on a robotic mount that moves in response to where and what is being… » 6/11/13 10:26am 6/11/13 10:26am

HP's New Multi-Touch Graphing Calculator Has Smartphone Aspirations

These are exciting times for anyone who's refused to replace their trusty standalone graphing calculator with a similarly capable smartphone or tablet app. Your stubbornness is finally paying off as HP is teasing what appears to be one of the most advanced color touchscreen calculators the scientific world has ever… » 4/23/13 9:11am 4/23/13 9:11am

Battle the Cold and Smudges With a Screen-Cleaning Blanket

For most people, 'whatever's in reach' usually ends up being the best way to clean their phone or tablet's screen. But to avoid scratches, or just trading fingerprints for a layer of lint, you really should be reaching for a microfiber cloth. And that's made extra easy if you're keeping cozy under this throw. » 3/06/13 1:40pm 3/06/13 1:40pm

Touchscreen Friendly Fingernails Turn Every Digit Into a Stylus

If you're a fan of long fingernails you've probably already developed special techniques for using touchscreen devices. But Sri Vellanki, the creator of a fingertip stylus called Tech Tips, feels women shouldn't be limited to what technology they can use because of their fashion choices. So she's developed a… » 1/15/13 9:46am 1/15/13 9:46am

Knuckle and Fingernail Gestures Could Be Coming Soon to a Touchscreen…

For the moment, your arsenal of touchscreen gestures is effectively limited by the number of fingers you can use. a ten-finger gesture isn't going to be particularly helpful for most of us. New tech that can tell the difference between fingertips, knuckles, and fingernails however, could throw some more variables… » 11/18/12 12:00pm 11/18/12 12:00pm

Do You Want Touch Typing On a Tablet Enough To Endure This Chorded…

If tablets had one achilles heel preventing them from personal computing dominance, it would be their awkward touchscreen keyboards. But the makers of the ASETNIOP keyboard think they've found a better alternative. An on-screen keyboard with just ten keys that lets you access every letter of the alphabet with… » 11/07/12 9:59am 11/07/12 9:59am

Turns Out Magnets Are an Awesome Way To Use Your Touchscreen Devices

In addition to light sensors, gyroscopes, and accelerometers, did you know most tablets and smartphones have a built in magnetometer? Its immediate benefit might not be obvious, but as this video demonstrates, it could let you use magnets to interact with your devices instead of boring old fingers or styluses. » 10/29/12 1:40pm 10/29/12 1:40pm

Herbie Hancock Blows School Kids' Minds with the Awesome Power of…

Legendary jazz keyboardist Herbie Hancock stops by Sesame Street explain the inner workings of the state-of-the-art (in 1983, at least) Fairlight CMI synthesizer and it's monochrome touchscreen monitor to a bunch of seven year-olds. Among them, a girl that would one day play Will Smith's cousin on The Fresh Prince… » 10/23/12 12:07pm 10/23/12 12:07pm