Archive for the ‘touch’ Category
Okay, two words, sounds like… wait, it’s one word? Okay, two words in one. First word, three letters, sounds like “arm.” Oh, it is “arm.” Okay, second word. You’re typing. Typing on keys. It’s keyboard. It’s not a keyboard? No, it is a keyboard. The word isn’t “keyboard?” Really? Maybe “keypad?” It’s “keypad!” What the heck is an ArmKeypad? Turns out it’s NEC‘s attempt at letting us control our portable devices using charades-like gestures, which we first heard about last week. You can tap your arms in different places to control volume or skip tracks, even clap your hands if you’re happy and your want your PMP to know it. The system relies on a wrist-borne accelerometer that detects the impacts and, while the video below looks a bit goofy, that’s far better than fumbling with your smartphone while sucking wind on your thrice-weekly runs. And, it’s certainly far simpler than the projected Skinput. NEC expects to have this tech built into a watch-like device sometime within the next two years. That watch had better have a calculator.
Immersion releases SDK to put haptics in Android, helps smartphones move what their makers gave them
About a month ago, we told you about Immersion’s MOTIV dev platform to design Android apps with tactile feedback, and today its release has finally arrived. The SDK comes with predesigned haptic effects, sample code, and the ability to tweak the duration and intensity of the feedback — allowing developers to perfectly tailor the amount of shake in your groove thang. Interested parties can hit up the source link for the SDK download and start indulging in the haptic dark arts immediately.
You may ask yourself, why bother tapping touchscreens or physical buttons when an accelerometer can be strapped to the wrist, turning any ol’ arm into a wireless touch panel? That’s the claim that NEC is making today. A wrist-worn band of compact acceleration sensors divides the arm into seven sections along the upper, middle, and lower arm that can then be assigned as virtual inputs to an electronic device. No more reaching into a bag to answer the phone, no more plucking at the strings of a guitar to create song — everything is controlled through a natural tap of the arm or clap of the hands. Once in a lifetime tech that feels the same as it ever was.
LG’s Netflix-lovin’ Revolution wasn’t the only standout demonstration at Qualcomm’s MWC booth — the company also cut out a bit of space to showcase a wild new ultrasonic pen that’s able to transcribe writing on paper directly into one’s phone, tablet or laptop. The gist of it is simple: the pen can be equipped with an actual ink pen or a simple nub, and there’s a battery-powered transceiver inside. Using standard, off-the-shelf microphones on a mobile device, your future phone or tablet could pick up vibrations from the pen with a radius of around 30 centimeters.
Underlying Epos software is used to convert vibration and coordinate information into text, and from there, any ‘ole text app can be used to field the results. We were even shown a brief demo of a prototype language translation app that enabled the demonstrator to write a sentence on paper beside the phone, and have the phone itself take in the English phrase, convert it to text, and then translate into a foreign tongue. It’s a fairly impressive feat, and there’s some pretty obvious usage case scenarios here — this could easily reinvent the art of note taking in class, where those who prefer to jot down reminders on paper will be able to log those same bullet points on their laptop as they scribble. Vid’s after the break, per usual.
We can’t accuse Inq of having the best timing in the world — the company announced its new Facebook-centric Cloud Touch and Cloud Q phones at about the same time that HP was busy blowing minds with its new webOS range in San Francisco — but at least that gave us an excuse to get out of the Engadget bunker this morning and go check out some new gear. We’ve gotten to grips with the 3.5-inch touchscreen-equipped Cloud Touch and have broken down our first impressions of the device for you after the break. Aside from Facebook, Inq has chosen to integrate Spotify Premium into this phone along with Fluency, the typing prediction engine that powers SwiftKey. The two serve as significant upgrades on the default media player and keyboard software, respectively, and add a nice sprinkling of value to a phone that’s already expected to go easy on the wallet. The gallery below will illustrate anything else you may need or want to know, although you’ll have to check out the video to see the multifunctional unlock screen and Facebook widgetry in action.
Gallery: Inq Cloud Touch preview