Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

The iPad Mini Case That Adds A Tactile Keyboard


Just when you'd got used to fumbling your way through an email on your lifeless touch screen, Phorm has gone and resurrected the button. Sort of.

Enveloping the edges and back of the iPad Mini (or, in the case of its smaller sibling, the iPhone 6 Plus), the Phorm appears to be an underwhelming plastic slab of protection. Slide the large toggle switch on the rear of the case and its true purpose becomes evident: like a potent allergic reaction, a string of bumps appear on the iPad screen, perfectly aligned with its keyboard.


The Phorm aims to give a sense of tactile touch back to smart screens, helping people to touch-type with the same speed as if they were using a physical keyboard.

The tech works thanks to a microfluid stored in the case. When the Phorm is "toggled" on, the fluid is pushed through hairline grooves under a thin layer of screen protecting plastic, pooling in small amounts over the relevant sections of the screen - it's a mechanical process, which means there's no battery to worry about recharging. The little finger guides don't depress as such, but act as markers to rest your fingers against when you're looking for a button, so you can develop a tying muscle memory.

Compatible with a number of major iOS keyboard apps, there are some drawbacks: Phorm only lines up when your device is in a portrait orientation, and some apps might find themselves misaligned. But as a first model, it's an interesting hint at what the future of smart keyboards might look like. 

Set to arrive in 2016, Phorm is currently only taking orders in the US. You can find out more here.



'Haunted' Macbook Up For Sale On Ebay


Choose Who Controls Your Facebook Account After Death


IKEA Tries Its Hand At Emoticons


How To Never Queue For A Table Again


The World's Smallest Earphones


The Jet-Powered Surf Board


The Smart Snowboarding System


The All-In-One Swipe Card


The Robotic AI Slot Car Racer



Fidget spinners might contain deadly levels of lead

Is your toy slowly poisoning you to death?

by Gary Ogden
02 Jun 2017

We might be about to get smartphones that charge fully in five minutes

An Israeli start-up claims it's going to go into production next year

by Tom Mendelsohn
15 May 2017

5 of the best fidget toys on the market right now

Tackle your knuckle cracking head on

by Matt Tate
10 May 2017

Some Italians have created a phone cover that also makes espresso

No, we don't know why either

by Tom Mendelsohn
08 May 2017

New app will rebalance the London rental market in favour of landlords

Finally, the capital's hard-up property owners will get their due with Rentberry

by Tom Mendelsohn
26 Apr 2017

This knife-toting robot playing stabby hand will make you nervous

I for one welcome our new robot overlords

by Tom Mendelsohn
25 Apr 2017

Now you can turn your iPhone into a retro mac

For the man who has everything

by Tom Mendelsohn
21 Apr 2017

The best turntables of 2017

How the tables have turned

by David Cornish
20 Apr 2017

The Tamagotchi is back

Great news for fans of neglecting responsibilities and watching tiny creatures literally shit themselves to death!

by Emily Reynolds
11 Apr 2017

Self-healing smartphone screens could exist by 2020

Could it be curtains for shady smartphone repair stalls across Britain?

by Tom Mendelsohn
05 Apr 2017