Flicking your wrists is too barbaric. And sliding your fingers is so 2007. Welcome to the new wave in “active input” technology: The Force.
Microsoft’s research department has been experimenting with a pliable form of input commands that involves using force to bend, twist, push and pull your device. While the prototype was used primarily for web browsing, the responses can be programmed to carry out any on-screen action.
The research report says this new technology is capable of synergizing with other forms of “active input” (they really like that phrase), which is great for those of us who are already getting used to making the alligator-fingers motion on the iPhone.
Here’s a hypothetical situation of how I’ll soon read my morning news:
I double tap the browser icon on the screen to open up my New York Times homepage, and twist the unit until I reach the editorials. Nothing interests me so I fold the device inwards to go back to the front page. I slide my finger upwards on the screen until I reach an article on the latest predictions in oil futures. There’s a graph so I have to zoom in by sliding my fingers apart, the results are infuriating. At that moment, I get an instant message from an old friend who asks me how I’m doing. I respond by squeezing the device until a mad-face emoticon is sent. Now, where’s my coffee?