June 09, 2012, 7:55 AM — With Apple's annual Worldwide Developer Conference just days away, the yearning iOSphere seethes with rumors, alarums and frights.
This week: touchscreens you can feel, really feel; rumor sites happily boost Liquidmetal's stock price for no good reason; high hopes for a high-definition front camera; and no one will care that iPhone 5 won't be showing up on prepaid carriers' inventory anytime soon.
You read it here second.
"But if this [dynamically tactile touchscreen] really is a hot technology, there's a great chance Apple will rush to get its recently-granted patent into its next iPhone, which is expected to arrive in September or October." -- Dave Smith, International Business Times, following the iOSphere logic that whenever an Apple patent is published by the U.S. government, there's a "great chance" the patent's technology will appear in the next iPhone five months later.
iPhone 5 will have an awesome tactile touch screen
This rumor, as with so many, is based on the deep belief that every Cool Technology flows toward Apple as water flows downhill. It's a variant of the belief that every patent awarded to Apple reveals something that will appear in the very next iDevice, even if it's just weeks away from an expected launch.
A variety of news outlets picked up on a new tactile touch-screen technology unveiled this week at the SID Display Week trade show by a Fremont, Calif.-based startup, Tactus Technology. Using something called "microfluidics," Tactus replaces the conventional top layer of a touch screen with a flexible membrane. Tiny amounts of special oil are pumped through tiny channels in the membrane, "inflating" the keys and buttons of, for example, a qwerty keyboard. You actually have "real" keys to press. When you're done, the oil drains away and the membrane, in theory, flattens out and disappears, to become a flat touch screen again.