Can Batman-Inspired ForcePhone Beat Apple’s Force Touch Technology?by Rajshree Faria May 30, 2016
Image source: appleinsider.ru
When Apple unveiled the iPhone 6S last year, there was only one thing worth noticing and one thing worth imitating- its concept of force touch technology which the Apple flagship of 2015 did a fairly decent job of demonstrating. Now, thanks to a particular Batman film, a group of engineers from the highly respected University of Michigan have come up with a technology that has the same end but uses different means. Curious to know, what we’re talking about? Read on to find out.
The idea of the whole ForcePhone technology is inspired from the 2008 Batman film named “The Dark Knight”. In the film, the vigilante turns all the smartphones in Gotham into a sort of sonar system, which emits a high-frequency audio signal that helps to locate Mr Villain.
Image source: techspot.com
The Force Touch technology incorporated into the iPhone 6S requires exclusive hardware, a special screen. Instead, ForcePhone will make use of the ultrasonic waves emitted by the phone to aid in carrying out various functions. What these brilliant engineers will make use of is the inaudible tone within the range of 18-24 KHz range that the speaker of the phone will emit. As mentioned earlier, these frequencies are inaudible to the human ear so it shouldn’t be a constant annoyance. These sounds will be discerned by the phone’s microphone. So, the idea is that, when you press your finger on the screen or squeeze the body of the phone, the microphone will pick up on these disturbances and accordingly activate the associated function.
Image source: techcrunch.com
ForcePhone will act similar to your mouse right-clicking option, giving you additional options depending on how you press the screen. So, perhaps a long press will list all the ways to contact a particular person or may simply list the contact name. Kang Shin, a professor of computer science in electrical engineering at University of Michigan, believes that this will increase the ‘vocabulary’ between the user and the phone.
Image Source: mydrivers.com
According to Yu-Chih Tung, a doctoral student in the electrical engineering department at the University and one of the people behind the TouchPhone innovation, this is a good alternative to expensive and huge sensors. Smartphone companies can manufacture devices which incorporate such a sensor but the added cost and labour intensive work that it entails most likely dissuades them from doing so.
Image source: xatakandroid.com
Apart from saving you thousands of rupees that you would have otherwise spent on the iPhone, ForcePhone has a lot of other benefits. For example, you could have a particular pattern of squeezing the phone’s body that would dial the Police; a particular sequence of squeezing could maybe be associated with taking a selfie, etc. The potential is plenty if only companies are ready to jump in at next month’s MobiSys event to be held in Singapore for mobile enthusiasts.
Until then, maybe you’d like to take advantage of the exclusive features of 3D touch like peep, pop, tap, swipe, pinch, etc. that your Apple offers you!