Smartphones of the future may have inflatable keyboards on OLED displays

Inflatable buttons on AMOLED screen

Would it not be doable to have a bodily keyboard on a smartphone whereas retaining the touchscreen intact? The Future Interfaces Group (FIG) from Carnegie Mellon College (CMU) appears to suppose in order the researchers not too long ago demonstrated such a keyboard can exist through inflatable buttons on an OLED display screen.

Any such expertise is named Flat Panel Haptics and has been within the works at CMU for the past 15 years (opens in new tab). The brand new breakthrough is that FIG has been capable of develop a Flat Panel Haptics board 5 millimeters thick by growing an Embedded Electro-Osmotic Pump or EEOPs. According to the demo video (opens in new tab), the EEOPs can manipulate a particular pumping fluid by operating {an electrical} present by way of it. The pumps sit between a reservoir of this fluid on the underside and a versatile floor on high. Working electrical energy by way of the stack permits the pumps to inflate a inflexible button on high as much as 5 millimeters in top.