Tactus is taking orders for the Phorm now. The iPad mini case comes in slate gray (gray and black) or sky gray (gray and white) for $99, and ships this summer. Next up is a version for iPhone 6 Plus. And Tactus doesn't plan to stop there. The company even has a prototype Android tablet with the technology built right in — it's lighter than a similarly sized tablet since the Phorm's membrane replaces the topmost glass layer over the screen. Better yet, the technology is tied into the OS, so there's no switch to flip — the bumps come up automatically whenever the keyboard comes on screen, and fade away again when the keyboard goes away.
If you do a lot of thumb-typing on an iPad mini, Phorm's guides could speed you up and provide a satisfying tactile experience. It's definitely a niche product, but I'm glad my initial skepticism was proved wrong.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.