Other hardware makers, meanwhile, are working to improve typing on smartphones and tablets. Most of these devices rely on virtual keyboards on the flat
display surface, which provides no physical feedback for users' fingers.
While incorporating haptics
(targeted vibrations) into the screens is the most common solution today, a company called Tactus is taking a different approach with microfluidics "buttons" -- essentially small pouches on
the surface of the screen that fill with liquid, appearing only when you need to type. When they're not in use, they deflate, leaving a flat surface. The
company hopes to make its technology available to device makers next year.