What is perhaps most exciting about GelTouch is the fact that several different button shapes can exist in the same spot. Different shapes can be engraved in multiple ITO layers beneath the gel, each with the ability to be heated individually. So for example, imagine a smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard that appears near the bottom of the screen when you want it, and gaming controls that can appear in the same spot.
I thought this was the same sort of thing that’s been done before, with air-filled or hydraulic-filled chambers, and I was going to yawn it off and say I’ll be excited when they can get multiple shapes out of it, but apparently they can. Once the tech gets miniaturized enough, I could see it getting quite popular – maybe not in phones, but definitely in the the Tesla-style touchscreen consoles in cars.