Kyocera demonstrates new touchscreen that feels like it has physical keys

Kyocera touchscreenJapanese technology firm Kyocera has come up with a new touchscreen, which it demonstrated at the Digital Contents Expo in Tokyo last week. It uses similar technology to that which gives us haptic feedback, and when described, may remind you of Research in Motion’s SurePress technology seen on its Storm phones.

As fans of SurePress are a rare breed, and haptic feedback regularly splits opinion between phone users, this may not sound overly enticing. However, in reality, it’s considerably more exciting than both.

Designed to provide a more tactile typing experience, Kyocera uses piezoelectricity to vibrate the screen at a very high speed when you touch it with your finger, which apparently provides a feeling that resembles touching a physical key.

The clever part is it can be adjusted to make it feel like you’re clicking a button, or gently caressing a soft-touch keyboard. A reporter who tried the system described the softer feel as like pushing down on bubble wrap, and that when pressed, webpage hyperlinks felt as if they were ever so slightly being pushed into the screen. The report also stated that buttons “felt like the real thing.”

Kyocera hopes to implement its new screens on a variety of devices, from smartphones to in-car displays. The increased tactile response and positive feel will certainly help with using touchscreens in the latter.

The benefits don’t stop there either, as it’s expected to help improve typing accuracy on smartphones and tablets, plus it should have some intriguing uses in touchscreen gaming, where the lack of physical keys makes some games not only more awkward, but less satisfying too.

There’s no information on when — or even if — Kyocera’s screen tech will find its way on to a mainstream gadget, but it’s a safe bet we won’t be seeing it on the iPhone 6 or Galaxy S4. Kyocera make a variety of quirky phones, so if it’s going to appear anywhere, we’d imagine it’ll be on one of those first.

Computing

Amal and George Clooney want to change the world. Can Microsoft help?

Microsoft and The Clooney Foundation for Justice (CFJ) unveiled the TrialWatch app Thursday morning, a new tool in CFJ’s ongoing TrialWatch effort to shine a light on injustice in courts around the globe – which too often are simply…
Cars

The best minivans you can buy aren’t just for soccer moms

It may be hard for some buyers to accept, but the best minivans are incredibly versatile vehicles. They were developed specifically to haul people, and the best ones on the market don't feel like a penalty box. Check our list and see for…
Photography

These point-and-shoot cameras make your smartphone pics look like cave paintings

If your smartphone camera isn't giving you the results you want, maybe it's time to step up your game. The latest and greatest point-and-shoot cameras offer large sensors, tough bodies, and long lenses -- something no phone can touch.
Movies & TV

Best new podcasts of the week of April 13, 2019: Spacebridge and more

Feel like you’re drowning in podcasts? In this weekly series, we’ll help you pick out the best of the new and returning shows. This week’s picks include a spacebridge, love advice, Topher Grace, and bite-sized history.
Gaming

Get Nindie with it and check out these awesome indie games for the Switch

The Nintendo Switch's portability makes indies feel at home on the platform. Luckily, there are plenty of great titles to choose from. Here are our picks for the best Nintendo Switch indie games.
Computing

Tablet or notebook? Our favorite 2-in-1 PCs give you the best of both worlds

If you can’t decide if you need a tablet or a notebook, then don’t bother. The best 2-in-1 laptops are both, and they can provide all the power you need. Check out our list for the best 2-in-1s for any user.
Photography

Luminar Accent A.I. can now recognize faces for more natural instant edits

Want to edit faster? Skylum Luminar's latest update enhances the Accent A.I. to use machine learning for instant enhancements. The tool now recognizes faces for more natural skin tones along with other enhancements.
Computing

These are the best 13-inch laptops you can buy right now

With so much choice out there, how do you know which are the best 13-inch laptops? They should have beautiful screens, long battery life, and remain light and portable. This is a list of our favorites.
Computing

These gaming monitors will transport you to another dimension

What are the best gaming monitors you can buy right now? We select five that are all priced under $900 packing premium technologies like G-SYNC and FreeSync, high resolutions, and fast refresh rates.
Computing

Intel’s 10nm desktop dreams may be dead — new road map pushes them beyond 2022

Intel may never release a competitive 10nm CPU on desktop if a new roadmap is to be believed. It suggests that Intel will rely on its 14nm process to at least 2022 and perhaps even beyond.
Computing

Turn your desk into a command center with the best ultrawide monitors

Top of the line ultrawide monitors have the deepest curves, the sharpest colors, and the biggest screens on the market. You’re going to want one, sooner or later. So why not sooner? These are the best ultrawide monitors you can buy now.
Computing

Corsair’s Ironclaw, Glaive gaming mice are tuned for performance and comfort

Corsair is adding wireless capabilities to its Ironclaw gaming mouse this year, while the Glaive RGB Pro has been updated for maximum comfort with thoughtful ergonomics. Both mice feature accurate tracking and durable buttons.
Computing

These cheap laptops will make you wonder why anyone spends more

Looking for a budget notebook for school, work, or play? The best budget laptops, including our top pick -- the Asus ZenBook UX331UA -- will get the job done without digging too deeply into your pockets.
Photography

Illustrator teases tool to recolor an entire graphic in a few clicks

Not a fan of the colors in your graphic, but dreading the process of replacing each and every one? Adobe Illustrator could soon have a new tool that recolors an entire vector graphic at once, using the color palette from a photograph.