Synaptics' 3D smartphone can be squeezed, tilted

The smartphone is a prototype, it won't reach stores

Looking beyond touchscreens, an alliance of companies including Synaptics and Texas Instruments is trying to exploit unused surfaces to make smartphones interactive and easier to use.

The companies on Monday announced a concept smartphone that users can interact with by squeezing and tilting it, the companies said. Interacting with the phone usually occupies both hands, but the Fuse concept phone makes it possible to select and load applications using just the one hand holding the smartphone, the companies jointly said in a press release.

The phone's input functionality is based on accelerometers and sensors that make single-handed interaction possible, the company said. Users can tilt the phone up and down to navigate a list of applications and squeeze on the sides to stop the scrolling.

Rolling the finger on the back of the phone helps select an application, and squeezing it can start the applications. This reduces the need for placing the finger on the touchscreen to run applications, Synaptics said.

There are force and capacitive touch sensors on the sides of the phone that enable directional panning and scrolling. The phone also has accelerometers and haptics technology on the front glass and the sides of the phones, Synaptics said.

The phone looks like a conventional smartphone. It has a 3.7-inch high-resolution AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) screen that can display images at 480 by 800 pixel resolution. It also includes a multitouch touchscreen interface.

The OS and 3D interface were developed by companies including TheAlloy and The Astonishing Tribe.

Fuse runs on an Texas Instruments' OMAP 3630 processor. The application processor is based on Arm's Cortex-A8 design and includes a PowerVR SGX graphics core that is capable of 2D and 3D graphics, according to a reference design on Texas Instruments' Web site. Synaptics declined to comment on the operating system running in the phone.

This phone is a prototype and won't be available on the market, a Synaptics spokeswoman said. It is intended to be a concept design for other companies to reference when developing smartphones.

Fuse is a follow up to the Onyx smartphone, a concept handset designed by Synaptics and other companies in 2006. Onyx offered a capacitive touchscreen as an alternative to keys for users to interact with smartphones.

The touchscreen concept has caught on, though some technologies, including answering calls by placing the phone on a cheek, have not yet reached smartphones.

Synaptics doesn't develop smartphones. The company is most known for developing input technologies for mobile devices and laptops, including touchscreens and mousepads.

The Fuse phone will be on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas between Jan. 7 and 10, Synaptics said.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags touchscreens3dsmartphonesces 2010Synaptics

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?