Your next multi-touch display to feature puffy buttons?

I know I’m not the only one who misses the physicality of the analog age. Dials, buttons, switches… they may have been inflexible, but they were tactile. As versatile as an iPhone or Surface’s display may be, they lack the ability to actually push or turn something. While the nature of displays prohibits this for the most part, there are some things that can be done with flexible displays to make them a little more physically fulfilling — kind of like your mom.

This display technology has air being pumped into chambers to form buttons, arrows, and other shapes, which retain their sensitivity as part of the touchscreen due to Surface-like IR rear-projection touch-detection.


It’s far from a “3D display” that can form any shape on its surface, but there are possibilities, especially for making things like kiosks more friendly to the blind. The limitations are still pretty serious: the display can switch between a “puffed” and “sucked” state, allowing for two different shapes per area of the screen, but there’s no way to change those shapes without taking the whole thing apart. Of course, at this point it’s really just proof of concept,