World’s first morphing touchscreen

Apple’s touch-based devices have changed the way we interact with computers entirely, but that hasn’t stopped users from occasionally thinking wistfully of the days when physical keyboards ruled the roost. Tactus has taken that desire to heart, and the startup’s first consumer product, the Phorm, is about to bring a tactile experience back to your iPad mini’s software keyboard.

Tactus co-founders Dr. Craig Ciesla and Dr. Micah Yairi have been working on technology that can generate physical keys from a flat surface on demand, giving you a smooth, unbroken surface for general touch-based interaction, and a physical keyboard when you need one. The company’s innovation uses a microfluidic panel to achieve its magic, routing liquid through invisible channels to expand specific areas of the top layer of a touch panel, producing protrusions and bumps where previously there were none.

Phorm is the first product from Tactus that is ready for the consumer market, and it’s available for pre-order now, with a target launch date of summer 2015 for the first crop of batch of devices. The Phorm is an iPad mini case that incorporates Tactus’ tech into a thin front panel, similar both in size and in method of application to a standard screen protector. It’s paper-thin, and it offers virtually no change in the optics of your display when you look at an iPad inside the Phorm. The Phorm itself also doesn’t add that much additional size to the iPad mini’s sleek frame, adding about as much bulk as you might expect from a fairly durable protective case.

The Phorm case itself holds the fluids needed for the transformation it enables, as well as the circuitry required for triggering the key generation. There’s a single large switch on the back that lets you turn the tactile keys on and off, and the case’s industrial design was handled by Ammunition, the same firm that originally worked with Beats on its hardware pre-Apple acquisition.

Style is great, but Phorm’s killer feature is the keys that rise up from nothing. These aren’t mechanical keys, of course: They’re essentially touch-capable ridges that suggest the location of the device’s keyboard (in portrait orientation) and have a little bit of give on finger press. But they provide a lot more presence than a flat display for typing by touch alone, and of course they disappear completely when not in use. Essentially, thanks to Phorm’s pricing, you’re getting a major feature in addition to a standard scratch protector, along with a durable protective case, without much cost over and above other cases from premium accessory makers.

Phorm is just a start for Tactus – they’re already working on designs for the iPhone 6 Plus and iPad Air, and they’ve even produced a prototype using a generic Android tablet reference design that incorporates their tactile keys right into the display of the device, without requiring any additional parts or user installation. This is a tech that is still in its relative infancy, but seeing it start to make its way out to consumers makes it easy to get excited about where it could progress.

The retail price of the Phorm will be $149 once it becomes widely available, but pre-order customers can save $50 through the campaign, dropping the launch price to $99.

Posted on TechCrunch by Darrell Etherington (@drizzled) on Feb 12, 2015

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The ModularHose iPad / Tablet Holder

Modularhose iPad standThe ModularHose iPad / Tablet Holder Kit is a flexible solution for holding up a tablet where you need it. The adjustable double arm configuration allows the tablet to be positioned virtually anywhere. The adjustable tablet holder works with Apple iPad 1, 2, 3, and 4 in addition to other tablets measuring 9.5″-10.8″ by 7.2″-7.5″. Works in both landscape and portrait mode. Designed for tablets weighing 1.5 lbs or less.

You can find this and other ModularHose products at

8X Optical Zoom Telescope with case for iPad

8X-Optical-Zoom-Lens-Camera-Telescope-with-case-for-iPadThis compact telescope is specially designed for iPad. With this telescope, you can zoom to focus on distant objects clearly.  This can be used with a stand to work as a distance video magnifier allowing students to see what is on the board.  These scopes are very reasonably priced and really make a difference in getting a clear picture with enlargement.   Learn more about this product.

iUSBPort2 by HyperDrive

iUSBportHD PhotoiUSBport2 features a microSDXC slot and two 5W powered USB ports that connect to any 2 USB drives (including 2 hard drives) and wirelessly makes the contents available to your iOS, Android or WiFi-enabled device. Instantly stream 5 different HD movies to 5 different devices or perform 2-way file transfer with up to 12 different users at the same time. No Internet, computer, router or external power required. iUSBport2 is the most advanced, versatile and compatible device you ever need to expand your mobile device storage. Free iOS/Android/Web app and also works with hundreds of HTTP/FTP/WebDAV/DLNA client apps.

Learn more about the iUSBPort2

HookUpz iPhone

The HookUpz adapter easily connects your iPhone 4/4S/5 to the included CloseUp Monocular. Now you can take pictures or video directly through the Monocular and easily text or e-mail friends. The adapter includes a rubber ring that conforms to the CloseUp Monocular. “Hook up” to your Monocular to view wildlife, your children’s sporting events and more. Be sure to capture everything life has to offer with the Carson HookUpz.

Learn more about the HookUpz iPhone

Print from all your iOS devices to virtually any printer!

xPrintServer is an easy-to-use, affordable ‘plug-and-print’ solution for Apple iOS devices, enabling wireless printing from the native print menu to networked printers. There’s no need to install any printer drivers or download any applications.

iOS Print Server xPrintServer

xPrintServer also eliminates the need to sync documents back to a Mac or PC. Now, you can print documents, photos, e-mail, web pages and more in minutes. Open the box. Plug the xPrintServer into the network. Print. It’s that easy. With xPrintServer, schools no longer have to invest in brand new printers to enable iOS device printing.

Get more information.

BrailleNote Apex iOS command List

The below list describes all commands for the Apex to effectively control an iOS device.

Basic navigation commands
Space with Dot 1 or Outer Left Thumb Key (F1) Move to previous item
Space with Dot 4 or Outer Right Thumb Key (F4) Move to next item
Space with Dot 2 or Inner Left Thumb Key (F2) Pan Braille to the left
Space with Dot 5 or Inner Left Thumb Key (F3) Pan Braille to the right
Braille display Routing cursor or Space with Dots 3-6 Double-tap the selected item
Inner Left Thumb Key (F2) + Inner Right Thumb Key (F3) Activates the Home button
Inner Left Thumb Key (F2) + Inner Right Thumb Key (F3) twice Activates task switcher
Space with Dots 1-2-3 Move to the first element
Space with Dots 4-5-6 Move to the last element
Space with Dots 2-4-6 Scroll left one page
Bypass command (Space with Dots 4-5-6-8), Space with O Scroll right one page
Inner Right Thumb Key (F3) + Outer Right Thumb Key (F4) Activates the Return key
Space with B Activates a Back button if present


Reading commands
Space with Dots R Read page starting at selected item
Space with W Read page starting at the top
Space with Dots 1-4-5-6 Scroll down one page
Space with Dots 3-4-5-6 Scroll up one page
Space with P Pause or Continue speech
Information commands
Space with S Go to the Status bar
Space with K Start VoiceOver help
Space with B Quit VoiceOver help
Space with Dots 3-4 Speak page number or rows being displayed
Rotor commands
Space with Dot 3 Move to previous item using rotor setting
Space with Dot 6 Move to next item using rotor setting
Space with Dots 2-3 Select previous rotor setting
Space with Dots 5-6 Select next rotor setting
Edit commands
Space with Dots 2-5-6 Select text
Space with Dots 2-3-5 Unselect text
Space with X Cut
Space with C Copy
Space with V Paste
Outer Left Thumb Key (F1) Inner Left Thumb Key (F2) Activates the Delete key
Space with D Activates the Delete key
Space with Dots 2-3-4-6 Redo
Space with Dots 2-3-5-6 Select all
Miscellaneous commands
Space with Dots 3-4-5 Activates the Volume Up button
Space with Dots 1-2-6 Activates the Volume Down button
Space with M Toggle speech on and off
Outer Left Thumb Key (F1) + Outer Right Thumb Key (F4) Toggle Screen Curtain on and off
Space with G Toggle contracted and uncontracted Braille
Status Routing cursors (Applies to displays with status cells) Toggle expanded status description
Space with T Activates the Tab key
Space with Dots 1-2-5-6 Activates the Shift with Tab keys
Space with N Toggle announcement history

Siri Commands


  • “What’s Michael’s address?”
  • “What is Susan Park’s phone number?”
  • “When is my wife’s birthday?”
  • “Show Jennifer’s home email address”
  • “Show Jason Russell”
  • “Find people named Park”
  • “Who is Michael Manning?”


  • “My mom is Susan Park”
  • “Michael Manning is my brother”
  • “Call my brother at work”

Siri Commands for Calendar

  • “Set up a meeting at 9″
  • “Set up a meeting with Michael at 9″
  • “Meet with Lisa at noon”
  • “Set up a meeting about hiring tomorrow at 9am”
  • “New appointment with Susan Park Friday at 3″
  • “Schedule a planning meeting at 8:30 today in the boardroom”

Ask Siri to change events

  • “Move my 3pm meeting to 4:30″
  • “Reschedule my appointment with Dr. Manning to next Monday at 9am”
  • “Add Lisa to my meeting with Jason”
  • “Cancel the budget review meeting”

Ask Siri about your events

  • “What does the rest of my day look like?”
  • “What’s on my calendar for Friday?”
  • “When is my next appointment?”
  • “When am I meeting with Michael?”
  • “Where is my next meeting?”

Time and Alarm Functions

Ask Siri to set Alarms

  • “Wake me up tomorrow at 7am”
  • “Set an alarm for 6:30am”
  • “Wake me up in 8 hours”
  • “Change my 6:30 alarm to 6:45″
  • “Turn off my 6:30 alarm”
  • “Delete my 7:30 alarm”

Ask Siri to check the time

  • “What time is it?”
  • “What time is it in Berlin?”
  • “What is today’s date?”
  • “What’s the date this Saturday?”

Ask Siri to use a Timer

  • “Set the timer for ten minutes”
  • “Show the timer”
  • “Pause the timer”
  • “Resume”
  • “Reset the timer”
  • “Stop it”

Siri Email Commands

Ask Siri to Send Email Messages

  • “Email Lisa about the trip”
  • “Email Jennifer about the change in plans”
  • “New email to Susan Park”
  • “Mail Dad about the rent check”
  • “Email Dr. Manning and say I got the forms, thanks”
  • “Mail Lisa and Jason about the party and say I had a great time”

Ask Siri to Check Email Messages

  • “Check email”
  • “Any new email from Michael today?”
  • “Show new mail about the lease”
  • “Show the email from Lisa yesterday”
  • “Do I have any new messages?”

Ask Siri to Respond to Email Messages

  • “Reply Dear Susan sorry about the late payment”
  • “Call him at work”

Ask Siri About Messages

  • “Read my notifications”

Ask Siri to Locate Friends and Family

  • “Where’s Jason?”
  • “Where is my sister?”
  • “Is my wife at home?”
  • “Where are all my friends?”
  • “Who is here?”
  • “Who is near me?”

Ask Siri for Maps and Directions

  • “How do I get home?”
  • “Show 1 Infinite Loop Cupertino California”
  • “Directions to my dad’s work”
  • “Show my current location”
  • “Show me the Statue of Liberty”
  • “Show me directions from Washington DC to Philadelphia Pennsylvania”

Ask Siri about Local Businesses

  • “Find coffee near me”
  • “Where is Starbucks?”
  • “Find some burger joints in Baltimore”
  • “Find a gas station within walking distance”
  • “Good Mexican restaurants around here”

Ask Siri about Restaurants

  • “Show me reviews for Cheesecake Factory in Arlington”
  • “Show me good seafood restaurants near me”
  • “Table for four in Washington DC Friday Night”


  • ” Table for four in Palo Alto tonight”
  • ” Make a reservation at a romantic Italian restaurant tonight at 7pm”
  • ” Show me the reviews for Seven Hills in San Francisco”

Ask Siri to Send Text Messages (SMS)

  • “Tell Susan I’ll be right there”
  • “Send a message to Jason Russell”
  • “Send a message to Lisa saying how about tomorrow”
  • “Tell Jennifer the show was great”
  • “Send a message to Susan on her mobile saying I’ll be late”
  • “Send a message to 408 555 1212″
  • “Text Jason and Lisa where are you?”

Ask Siri to Read Text Messages (SMS)

  • “Read my new messages”
  • “Read it again”

Ask Siri to Reply to Text Messages

  • “Reply that’s great news”
  • “Tell him I’ll be there in 10 minutes”
  • “Call her”

Lockscreen Reading

  • ” Read my notifications”
  • ” Do I have any new messages?”

Siri Commands: Music and Videos

  • “Play The Light of the Sun”
  • “Play Trouble”
  • “Play Taking Back Sunday shuffled”
  • “Play Alicia Keys”
  • “Play some blues”
  • “Play my party mix”
  • “Shuffle my roadtrip playlist”
  • “Play”
  • “Pause”
  • “Skip”

Ask Siri to Create and Find Notes

  • “Note that I spent $12 on lunch”
  • “Note: check out that new Alicia Keys album”
  • “Find my restaurant note”
  • “Create a reading list note”
  • “Add Tom Sawyer to my reading list note”

Ask Siri to make a Phone Call

  • “Call Jason”
  • “Call Jennifer Wright mobile”
  • “Call Susan on her work phone”
  • “Call 408 555 1212″
  • “Call home”
  • “FaceTime Lisa”

Ask Siri to make a FaceTime Call

  • “Make a FaceTime call to Michael”
  • “FaceTime Mom”

Ask Siri to set a Reminder

  • “Remind me to call mom”
  • “Remind me to call my mom when I get home”
  • “Remember to take an umbrella”
  • “Remind me take my medicine at 6am tomorrow”
  • “Remind me to pick up flowers when I leave here”
  • “Remind me when I leave to call Jason”
  • “Remind me to finish the report by 6″

Ask Siri to check Stocks

  • “What’s Apple’s stock price?”
  • “What is Apple’s PE ratio?”
  • “What did Yahoo close at today?”
  • “How is the Nikkei doing?”
  • “How are the markets doing?”
  • “What is the Dow at?”

Ask Siri about the Weather

  • “What’s the weather for today?”
  • “What’s the weather for tomorrow?”
  • “Will it rain in Cupertino this week?”
  • “Check next week’s forecast for Burlington”
  • “What’s the forecast for this evening?”
  • “How’s the weather in Tampa right now?”
  • “How hot will it be in Palm Springs this weekend?”
  • “What’s the high for Anchorage on Thursday?”
  • “What’s the temperature outside?”
  • “How windy is it out there?”
  • “When is sunrise in Paris?”

Ask Siri to search the Web

  • “Search the web for Bora Bora”
  • “Search for vegetarian pasta recipes”
  • “Search the web for best cable plans”
  • “Google the war of 1812″
  • “Search Wikipedia for Abraham Lincoln”
  • “Search for news about the World Cup”
  • “Bing Alicia Keys”

Ask Siri to Launch an App

  • “Play Angry Birds”
  • “Open Music”

Ask Siri to Post to Facebook

  • “Post on Facebook ‘On my way to the beach’”
  • “Write on my wall ‘Having a great time in Florida’

Ask Siri to Post to Twitter

  • “Post to Twitter ‘Windows Tablet PC Blog is great!’”
  • “Tweet ‘Who are you voting for this election’ hashtag politics”
  • “Tweet my location ‘Having fun at the beach!’”

Ask Siri about Movie Theaters

  • “What movies are coming out this weekend?”
  • “What movies are playing near me?”
  • “Find movie theaters near my office”
  • “What are the best movies playing right now?”
  • “What R-Rated movies are playing?”
  • “What action movies are playing”

Ask Siri about Movies

  • “Show me reviews of the movie ‘Finding Nemo’”
  • “When was the movie ‘Saving Private Ryan’ released?”
  • “Who starred in the movie ‘Saving Private Ryan’?”
  • “What movie won best picture in 1998?”

Ask Siri about Sports

  • “Show me football scores from Sunday”
  • “When do the Philadelphia Eagles play next?”
  • “Which NFL team has the most yards?”
  • “Show me the roster of the Denver Nuggets”
  • “Show me career statistics for Peyton Manning”

Ask a question using Wolfram Alpha

  • “How many calories in a bagel?”
  • “What is an 18% tip on $86.74 for four people?”
  • “Who’s buried in Grant’s tomb?”
  • “How long do dogs live?”
  • “What is the Gossamer Condor?”
  • “What’s the square root of 128?”
  • “How many dollars is €45?”
  • “What was the Best Picture of 1983?”
  • “How many days until Christmas?”
  • “How far away is the Sun?”
  • “When is the next solar eclipse?”
  • “Show me the Orion constellation”
  • “What’s the population of Jamaica?”
  • “How high is Mt. Everest?”
  • “How deep is the Atlantic ocean?”
  • “What’s the price of gasoline in Chicago?”


Cut, Copy, and Paste Using VoiceOver

Cut, copy and paste is an important feature in iOS. Here is the step by step process for VoiceOver users.

  1. Select the words you want to cut or copy with the VoiceOver cursor by touching the line or flicking left or right.
  2. Rotate the VoiceOver rotor to either “words” or “lines.” To rotate the VoiceOver rotor place two fingers on the screen and turn them left or right. If you select “lines” you will select one lines at a time and if you select “words” you will select one word at a time.
  3. Pinch out with two fingers to begin to select the words you want to cut or copy. VoiceOver will speak which words have been selected.  Pinch in with two fingers to unselect by the rotor item.
  4. Rotate the rotor to “edit” mode and then swipe up or down to hear all of the options. It will give you options such as cut, copy, paste, define and more depending on which app you are using.
  5. When you hear the option you want, double tap anywhere on the screen. Now you have copied the text.
  6. To paste the text navigate to a text box and then double tap and hold. Then swipe to navigate to the paste button and then double tap anywhere on the screen to paste the text.