Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Idea for a better Smart Phone Screen

Maybe the next big thing?

While I think smartphones are incredible and they get better all the time, one thing that is missing is real buttons you can feel. I don't mean the small power, volume, and the middle home button on the bottom. I mean real buttons that you can dial phone numbers with.

How do you do that?

How about this for an idea: Make the screen out of a material like silicone (similar to what some cookware is made out of) but stronger. Now put in vibration mechanisms that vibrate the material at a particular frequency. This will make what feels like a rubber surface feel smooth. OK so this idea already exists.

Now for the fun part. Have a layer under this screen/substrate that is really an OLED screen printed on a silicone or rubber like surface. Now this layer underneath would be like a carpet of very tiny solenoids or something maybe more solid state. These would push up on the top layer and form a pattern. These patterns could be.
- Buttons for a dial pad/dialer
- Buttons for a game
- Buttons for any application
- A simulator for map reliefs
- Easy to feel bubbles for a message interface
And so on

The buttons could depress just like a real button by the touch screen sensing your press and having the solenoids retract. I believe this could be done with the proper timing to make it feel so real that it acts like a real button being pushed. Possible to even make it feel like different materials based on the feedback pressure and the vibration frequency on that area of the screen.

With a dialer app or texting app this adds a level of safety since you can feel the screen with your fingers without even looking at it. Now when your driving (yes your not suppose to but we all do anyways) instead of looking at the screen you can just feel the 12 buttons of the number pad like on our old dumb phones to dial the call. Then press another button to dial.

With texting you can feel the balloons of the conversation and press on them to have your phone read them, etc.

Thought I would share this "thought" with everyone. Now lets see if this actually happens. I hope so! If someone or a team of someones can figure this out best of luck to you and please give credit to this post.

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