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Tactus Takes Top Spot In Eureka Competition

LAS VEGAS— Tactus Technology, the developer of an intriguing new tactile user interface for touchscreen devices, is enjoying a free booth in the Eureka Park TechZone at this week’s 2013 International CES 

The Freemont, Calif.-based start-up, founded in 2008, received the complimentary exhibit space from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) for winning the grand prize in the trade group’s Eureka Park Challenge, held last summer at the CEA Line Shows in New York. 

From an open field, 10 finalists were selected by a panel of 12 judges based on the following criteria: level of innovation and uniqueness; potential to make a profound impact on the market; feasible design; user-friendliness and functionality; and viability of business model. 

The 10 finalists then competed over two days within an interactive exhibit area at the CEA Line Shows, where judges interviewed the contenders and viewed demos of their products, services or apps. On closing day, each finalist made a final pitch on stage before a live audience. 

A panel of four judges and attendees ultimately voted Tactus the grand prize winner of the Eureka Park Challenge for its tactile touchscreen, which features transparent physical buttons that rise up from the touch-screen surface on demand. With the buttons enabled, users can push and type or rest their fingers as they would with any physical button or keyboard. When the buttons are disabled, they recede into the screen, becoming invisible and leaving a smooth, seamless flat touch-screen with maximum viewing area. 

“The fact that Tactus won amongst a strong group of contestants is testament to the compelling nature of their tactile touchscreen,” said Karen Chupka, CEA’s events and conferences senior VP. 

The product can be seen this week at booth 75110 in the Eureka Park TechZone on Level 3 at the Venetian. 

Interbots (booth 74012) received second place honors for its Popchilla, a robotic therapy platform that combines mobile apps, interactive robots, and a datatracking service to help children with autism practice social interactions and everyday skills. 

Novusport was voted “fan favorite” of the competition for its social-media game that defines sports in a new and innovative way. 

Produced by CEA in a partnership with the National Science Foundation (NSF), Startup America Partnership and NY Tech Meetup, the Eureka Park Challenge recognizes entrepreneurs and start-ups with the most innovative and unique products, services or apps. 

“We [were] excited to see the technologies on display at the Eureka Park Challenge that will fuel the next generation of bleeding-edge technology advances,” Chupka said.