A Touchscreen With Buttons, No Really

Modern touchscreen technology, such as that used in smartphones, tablets or even the self service checkout at the supermarket, offers a host of benefits to users.

The ability to quickly enter details, enlarge images or even turn the pages of an e-book are all positive advantages, without question. How many of us find ourselves cursing, however, when we accidentally send a message full of spelling mistakes on our phone, or touch the wrong icon to open an application.

Even with good dexterity it can be difficult to avoid these errors, but for those who have a disability, using a touchscreen can be an off-putting, awkward and fiddly experience that leaves them feeling dispirited.

A Californian company has developed a unique technology that will vastly improve the use of touchscreens for anyone who has struggled with them previously.

Pop-up Buttons

Tactus has come up with a transparent sheet of buttons that take up the same amount of space on a device as the glass layers of a normal touchscreen, but that actually pop-up out of the screen, for better accuracy.

The buttons then recede back into the device when not in use, leaving a perfectly smooth surface. Beneath the surface of the Tactus touchscreen are a number of channels into which, upon demand, a special kind of oil is pumped.

Tactus Touch Screen Buttons
Tactus Touch Screen Buttons

These channels can be arranged into any pattern or shape a manufacturer desires and raise a deformable membrane covering the surface of the touchscreen to form the buttons.

People with a visual disability may find it hard to operate a normal touchscreen display, but Tactus claim that the pop-up buttons will be detectable by touch, making accuracy easier.

In addition, those with poor dexterity who find it difficult to exert enough pressure on a touchscreen will find the buttons much more usable. The pinching gesture to enlarge text or images may also be unnecessary for those with dexterity issues, with the blister type buttons that can complete the task for them.

Future Benefits

Touchscreen QWERTY Buttons
Touchscreen QWERTY Buttons

The introduction of this new technology may have far reaching benefits for future device users. The ability to use the buttons like a normal QWERTY keyboard, could facilitate ease of use and potential for information distribution for disabled students to study through tablets and smartphones.

The Tactus technology is not restricted to QWERTY keyboard buttons, with the potential for pop-up guidelines or shapes to guide users with low vision through tasks other than just texting or typing.

There is also the possibility of the technology being used for other devices, such as self service checkout screens, car dashboard instrument displays and home remote controls.

Whilst smartphones often give a vibration feedback when users press the touch keypad, many people are still more comfortable with the sensation of pressing a real key and the new buttons promise this, whilst still giving the sleek and smooth top layer of a normal touchscreen when not in use.

Touch Buttons in Remote Controls
Touch Buttons in Remote Controls

Once this technology has been fine-tuned, we may even see buttons that can be customised depending upon a user’s individual needs and requirements, allowing those with specific ability and accessing problems to tailor their device to their own specification.

About The Author: This guest article was written on behalf of Evoke Interactive (visit website), by Francesca, a UK-based blogger with an interest in technology and gadgets.

How To Track Children with Mobile Tracking

Being a good parent is the most important job anyone will ever take on, but parenthood can be a challenge when teenage children are concerned.

With technology allowing the free flow of information and communication, how can parents keep their kids safe while giving them freedom?

Unfortunately, it is a fact of life that most teenagers are naturally drawn to excitement and risk. This creates a big problem when it comes to finding a happy medium between safety and freedom.

Talking on Phone

With frequent use of the internet and social media sites and their complete reliance on mobile phones for communication, monitoring who your teenager talks to and what information he receives can seem like an insurmountable task.

However, you can’t realistically expect to deprive your children of the gadgets that most adults have. Nor should you limit all independence.

To begin with, doing so could seriously affect their ability to communicate with friends or get in contact with family members if they need urgent help.

Future career prospects might also depend on their ability to use the latest technology and communication tools.

Benefits and Risks

Allowing teenagers to have their own mobile phone can, of course, have many benefits, especially in the case of an emergency. A teenager’s mobile can be something of a thorn for a parent.

Though needed for safety reasons, the phone is also a child’s ticket to freedom. Sometimes freedom must be curtailed.

Parents who are not quite up to speed with new technology will be relieved to learn that there are a few options available to them that could provide help.

It is possible, for instance, to monitor mobile phone usage and even track the phone’s physical location using GPS.

If you are confident about taking matters into your own hands, you could consider seeking out a handset that includes tracking technology as standard. These are available from a few private companies and the phone is supplied without a SIM card.

You can then fit the handset with your own SIM card, install the provided software onto your home PC and track your child’s location.

Parental Control

There has been talk of a SIM card that will soon be available that has a built-in capacity for parental control. Parents will be given the power to switch off the phone’s network at certain times (e.g., during school hours or late at night).

They can also monitor texts and calls and even control contacts, blocking calls and texts from unknown or unwanted callers. Internet use and data downloads can also be controlled and monitored, as well as picture and video messaging.

Purchasing a SIM card without a handset will, of course, give you the freedom to keep up with your teenager’s rapidly changing tastes by enabling relatively low-cost replacement of the handset as often as you please.

In the case of the pre-fitted tracker handsets, this will allow you to purchase updated handsets as they are released.

It’s Easy to Get your Location Leaked

Location-based services for mobile phones have been around for a while, but have come into more regular use with the rise of the smartphones using GPS and Wi-Fi technology.

Many of the social networking sites used by teenagers have integrated applications that use these technologies, which allows users to share their location with friends.

Applications such as FourSquare or Google Latitude, part of Google Maps, also use this technology to locate users and show both their location and that of friends and family on a digital map.

Before you think about this as an easy way to locate your teenager, it is worth remembering that this information is not only visible to you, but to just about anyone who wants to find it.

Quite often, a teenager’s social networking friends will include people they may not have met before and this technology will effectively allow your teenager’s whereabouts to be common knowledge to strangers, possibly putting them at risk.

Subscription Services

Perhaps the safest way to look at tracking your teenager’s phone would be to use a subscription tracking service. A Google search for “mobile tracker” will give you a host of companies that, for a monthly subscription, will track a particular phone and keep you informed of its whereabouts.

You may also use apps like Where’s My Droid for Android, or BlackBerry Protect for BlackBerry to keep a track on your child.

BlackBerry Protect

This information is only made available to you.

Any tracking device or service will only be effective if the phone is switched on and it is only the phone or SIM that can be tracked, not the child, so if your teenager leaves his phone at home or it gets lost, you may still not know your child’s whereabouts.

Also, it is worth knowing that a subscription tracking service can only be used with the child’s consent, so parents looking for a furtive way to track their child may be disappointed.

About The Author: Sarah James writes regularly on technology for a wide range of publications and websites. For more information compare high speed internet providers in your area on this website.

Quiz: Should You Buy Phone or Tablet, or both?

There are so many personal electronic devices in the market today, it can be overwhelming. Traditional cell phones have been antiquated by smartphones, and tablets are threatening to take the place of laptops.

However, smart phones and tablets seem to perform a lot of the same functions, such as running apps and providing a constant Internet connection.

So do you really need both?

Well, that depends on how you use your technology and connectivity on a daily basis.

Take this short quiz to determine if you need a smartphone, a tablet, or both.


Q1) How important is checking your email?

a) I need to know about new emails as soon as they arrive.

b) It’s important, but it can wait if necessary.

c) It varies, depending on what’s going on at the moment.

Q2) How often do you need word processing?

a) I rarely ever use a word processor at all.

b)I need word processing, but not on-the-go.

c) Word processing is essential to my daily activities.

Q3) How tech-savvy are you?

a) Not so much.

b) I consider myself fairly tech-savvy.

c) I prefer to always be on the cutting edge with technology.

Q4) What best describes your relationship to your laptop?

a) I don’t really need it.

b) I need to bring it with me from time to time.

c) I rely on my laptop on a regular basis.

Laptop Savvy??
Laptop Savvy??

Q5) How often do you use the phone?

a) I take calls throughout the day.

b) I don’t often need the phone.

c) The phone is as important to me as email.

Q6) What do you think about apps?

a) I use a few apps here and there.

b) I love them but don’t need them.

c) They’re essential.

Q7) How often do you need to access the Internet?

a) Here and there, but not all the time.

b) I prefer to always have access, but it’s not essential.

c) I rely on my ability to connect to the Internet on-the-go.


If you answered…

Mostly A’s: Just a smartphone. A smartphone probably has sufficient capabilities for your purposes. While you might benefit from having a tablet on hand, you don’t necessarily have to have one.

A smartphone is perfect for you, and it’s really all you need to have with you.

Mostly B’s: Just a tablet. A tablet would be great for you to invest in because you need personal computing on-the-go, but a simple cell phone is fine for you.

sony tablet s
sony tablet s

The functions of a tablet will be sufficient for your purposes, while at the same time being even more convenient.

Mostly C’s: A smartphone and a tablet. Because you love to be connected and on the cutting edge of technology, you could definitely benefit from having both a smartphone and a tablet. Having both will meet all your needs on a regular basis.

Or consider a Tablet & Phone Hybrid, like Samsung Galaxy Note

You should invest in a smartphone and a tablet. If you answered mostly C’s, you may want a smartphone and a tablet. Having both can make work and research while out and about a lot easier and more convenient for you.

However, if you can alter your personal computing tendencies just a bit, you can usually get by with just one or the other. If cost is a factor, go with your second most popular answer. If you answered more A’s than B’s, go with a smartphone, or vice versa.

Everyone is different, and your habits will ultimately determine which device or devices are most important to you.

How accurate & Precise did you find this quiz?? Share your views in the comments below 😀

5GB free dropbox cloud storage with HTC Smartphone

The device manufacturer HTC last month announced that all the upcoming new models of Android Smartphones would have 5GB of free Dropbox storage. The company announced that it would be applied to all the devices having HTC sense 3.5. This means that the existing users of Smartphone can also avail this feature of getting the free 5GB Dropbox storage.

However, it’s still not clear when the current users will be able to avail this extra free Dropbox storage in their handsets. This device happens to be the first one to announce on providing this feature to its users. And with this feature HTC is able to lead with manufacturers like Apple’s iCloud and SkyDrive of Microsoft storage services.

The HTC-Dropbox deal

Dropbox deal with HTC

Dropbox earlier only offered 2 GB of free space to the previous HTC users, however, the new deal coming up with the device manufacturer- HTC, the company has announced to offer 5GB of storage space. This is indeed a big deal being cracked by the company, which will make it to compete with its rival smartphones being brought up by the giant companies like Apple.

The beauty of this tie up is the fact that now HTC wouldn’t require any kind of support from the cloud infrastructure since the presence of Dropbox in the device suffices this need. Thus the company has more reasons to shoot up their Smartphone sales with this new tie up.

Features with 5GB Dropbox in HTC Rhyme

HTC Rhyme

Now onwards, the HTC users will be able to enjoy more space, which means they will have more storage space for the entertainment stuffs and other important backups. These all can be accessed to Desktop, Laptops and even tablets and now with HTC Smartphones. And the users also enjoys the feature of upgrading with more storage space up to 50GB or 100GB which comes with a subscription done on monthly or yearly basis.

Thus you have more space and reasons to upload more video and audio files of different formats along with more number of pictures and images and other important files you may require at your workplace. This also makes the transfer of data easy and fast to your HTC device which can be now completed without using the computer via USB.

Final Word

HTC has earlier acquired a stake in Beats Electronic promising all future devices to be equipped with superior beats rendered by Dr. Dre audio solutions, and now HTC Rhyme promising this incredible deal. More and more people these days want to share and synch information and data with their home or personal systems including their PC and Tablets using their cell phone devices.

Thus the user will not get the same kind of resolution of the images and videos it is accessing via the cell phone devices. With Dropbox coming as preinstalled in the HTC phones, will make the users enjoy good space and faster work using their cell phones. With this deal, the company would certainly be able to multiply its users and perhaps will make a pioneer among the number of Smartphones in the market.

About The Author:
Kate is a blogger by profession. She loves writing on luxury and lifestyle.In her free time she loves playing game on her computer. These days she is busy in writing an article on latest Smartphones.

Smartphone, Laptop, Tablet – Which to take while travelling?

When it comes to mobile internet then there’s no end of different options out there in the electronics marketplace. The only trouble is deciding which of the latest gadgets and gizmos will be best suited to the job in hand. Of course, if you’re just after a little bit of internet connectivity on the go then one of the latest smartphones will do the job. But, if you’ve got other chores that need to be carried out then let’s take a look at the bigger picture.

apple ios 5 on ipad iphone and ipod

What to buy?

With an endless array of products currently available, all of which can access the mobile internet, the first thing is to ask yourself what you want to do with said new gizmo. Going back a few years, the laptop was justifiably leader of the pack when it came to accessing mobile broadband services, and that is still the case for many people.

After all, a laptop has a full keyboard plus a large enough screen to help professionals stay productive and people who have entertainment on their minds to enjoy the likes of catch-up TV shows and movies on the go. However, battery life has often been a bugbear with laptops, and portability can be an issue with some machines weighing a little more than we’d like.

Another angle

Therefore, it’s little wonder that tablet computers have taken off in such a big way. Devices such as the Apple iPad combine power and performance with the ultimate in portability. There are oodles of different models to choose from too, so it’s possible to pick one with the operating system that you most get on with, and also select a device that matches the sort of money that you wish to spend.

Granted, some of the iPad rivals out there don’t have quite the same amount of apps or on-board software options that the Apple gadget boasts, and that can be a real burden to some. Nevertheless, the sheer range of tablets on the market should be able to deliver something close to what you want to do with it when you access the mobile internet on the move.

Samsung Google Nexus Prime with Android Ice Cream Sandwich

Work smart

However, coming back to the smartphone again, it’s hard to resist many of these new models because, put simply, they do pretty much everything that a traditional computer does only shrinks it all into a dinky little device. The only downside with this is that screens are basically much smaller, while not everybody can get on with the virtual keyboards found on many of these devices.

Nevertheless, if you’re looking to do a bit of web browsing on the go, post social networking updates and also check emails from time to time, then the smartphone does take some beating. Perhaps the best way forwards with all of this irresistible new tech around us then is to search out some of those network deals where you can bundle a tablet together with a smartphone. Now that’s what you call the perfect compromise.

About The Author:

Joe Linford writes for Broadband Genie, the best place to find the best mobile broadband deals in the UK and compare prices on tablets and smartphones.