There are all kinds of ways to check your phone for updates like new email, ranging from audible alarms to vibrations to little blinking lights. But how about something more...tactile? A new casing for cellphones encourages you to squeeze your phone--the level of turgidity or flaccidity indicates what's happening inside. It's not as erotic as it sounds.
Shwetak Patel and his fellow researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle have developed SqueezeBlock, a pressure-based casing that expands and contracts to mimic the tactile feel of a spring. (You can read their report here--warning, it's a PDF.) The casing has tiny motors built inside it which both detect pressure and provide feedback in different levels.
Lab tests showed that users can typically distinguish four levels of firmness, which gives at least as many options as an indicator light (which often, as on Android phones, have several different possible colors). Plus, a squeezable phone is silent and doesn't need to be removed from the pocket, making it perfect for surreptitious phone-checking. With four levels, the phone's firmness could indicate battery life, missed messages or phone calls, or even volume--a quick squeeze could reassure you that yes, your phone is in silent mode.
There are also UI possibilities, although the provided examples seem a little unnecessarily complex. (A phone could expand to the right to indicate that there's more content on the right side of the screen--I mean, sure, but that could be accomplished with an on-screen icon much more easily.) But some apps could use it, whether to provide a new form of force feedback in games or to, say, expand right or left to indicate level or balance.
I can foresee some practical obstacles that might outweigh the benefits. Hardware manufacturers like Apple and HTC and already struggling to cram a processor, memory, storage, screen, inputs, connections, sensors, and all kinds of other detritus into ever-shrinking smartphone cases. The SqueezeBlock tech would involve a larger case, to make room for the new plates and motors, and I'm not sure the advantages over, say, haptic feedback and a blinking light are worth the extra few millimeters. (Or at least, I would bet that's how Apple and HTC see it.)
The last thing you want to see is other people staring at you while you are wiggling in your pocket for a while to squeeze your cell phone to check if you have a new email...This will look more awkward if you have a huge phone like droid x or EVO in your pocket.. and it is more award if you are a guy...
My last Cell Phone was able to detect my emotion by detecting how much crushing-pressure it received from my hand after it crashed for the 1000's time. I know it was able to detect my emotions because I often though "I hate you crappy phone! Why don't you die for good?" and the phone responded to my tactile feedback by powering off and never powering back up again.
Is that a mobile phone in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
@ Igot1forya - that makes me happy. = ) I've had phones react similarly to kinetic force (even without gyroscopes or accelerometers.)
Is there any work being done on smartphones that are easy for blind people to use? I imagine that right now blind people have to use voice recognition for everything, but pressure and haptic feedback could give them more options.
www.popsci.com/gadgets/article/2010-10/squeezable-cellphones-give-turgidity-based-feedback#comment-84508 Thats funny! clever too!
Here is the video of the device described here:
hmm, the next thing will be weight loss exercises you can do with your cell phone?
Bendable cell phones are next, passing notes in class will have a whole new meaning. However squeezable cell phones may not have a practical use.
Waffles? I think you mean carrots.
Squeezable Cell Phones do not have any practical meaning.Using <a href="http://reversed-phone-lookup.blogspot.com/">Reverse Phone</a> will help a lot.So I think that there is no point in recommending those type of cell phones.