ForcePhone modified Nokia N900 prototype with squeeze tech
We get to see a number of concept or prototype smartphones here on Phones Review, which offer a number of clever and interesting ideas. The modified Nokia N900 that we have for you today has features that probably have never been seen before, as the ForcePhone device has built in squeeze tech.
Many of us spend most of our day touching smartphones and laptops as part of our busy lives, but as Technology Review are reporting many researchers are constantly looking at ways to get us to further interact with the technology we use.
At a recent UIST conference a ForcePhone has shown off that was put together at the Helsinki Institute of Information Technology and Nokia Research, and the device is a Nokia N900 but with an added element to voice conversations.
If the person who is talking and holding the handset gives the device a gentle squeeze the person holding the other modified Nokia handset receives a vibrate on the device. The pressure messages can either be transmitted on a normal voice call, or while using Skype.
The prototypes have been designed to vibrate back as they are squeezed, and the handset has a force sensitive resistor bundled inside, and the prototype can pick up four different types of pressure placed onto it. Each type would then be translated appropriately to the receiver’s handset, and the resistors are connected to a special sensor board that are placed into a microSD port on the handset.
It was designed to look like a normal handset as much as possible so the people testing the device would act as they normally would with a smartphone. The test group consisted of six adults made up from three couples, and ones that had been in long distance relationships for six months or more.
For the first month each of the testers used the prototype as their main phone with researchers recording the length of the calls made, frequency of the calls, and the amount of pressure messages that were sent during the calls.
One of the couples used the messages as their virtual cuddle, but another one of the guinea pigs gave the handset a level 4 squeeze during an argument, and translated their annoyance well. Some would worry about having a handset that keeps vibrating but the testers of the device found some creative and more unusual uses for the handsets, but wouldn’t go into further details.