A Californian company called Tactus Technology has developed a way to apply tactile keyboards to touchscreen devices. The technology uses a non-toxic liquid that moves around under the screen, through a number of small channels to specific areas. The liquid then increases pressure under the screen and causes the surface to rise.
Employing this technology would allow touchscreen smartphones and tablets to compete with other devices that feature physical keyboards, such as BlackBerry devices. The technology has a lot of potential, however it is not yet refined. Tactus Technology aims to begin production of these screens in late 2013, but did not comment on any partnerships it is working on.