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World's First 3D recognition phone could evolve the user interface

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January 19, 2005

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January 20, 2005 The rapid evolution of the mobile phone took an interesting turn this week when Samsung demonstrated a movement recognition mobile phone, a new technology that could mark a significant point in the evolution of the man-machine interface. Information input devices for the ever shrinking mobile telephone to date have included several different forms of keypad, touch screen and voice recognition but all have their drawbacks in serving the ever increasing capabilities being packed into new designs by phone designers. In the future, 3D movement recognition technology could become an important user interface and significantly alter mobile phone designs and features. The Samsung SCH-S310 phone's 3D motion recognition user interface can be used in a variety of ways, introducing new features never before seen in a mobile phone. The most significant new feature is the ability to "write" in the air with the phone and have the phone recognise the letters or numbers being written and input those characters, or assign certain movements to functions of the phone, such as "start a new text message" or to control the inbuilt MP3 player or digital camera. This technology will do away with the need for complex keypads on mobile phones, MP3 players, digital cameras and other handheld products. This will particularly effect the way games are played on a mobile phone.

The most significant new feature is the ability to "write" in the air with the phone and have the phone recognise the letters or numbers being written and input those characters, or assign certain movements to functions of the phone, such as "start a new text message" or to control the inbuilt MP3 player or digital camera.

This technology will do away with the need for complex keypads on mobile phones, MP3 players, digital cameras and other handheld products. This will particularly effect the way games are played on a mobile phone.

Many functions can be controlled by movement instead of buttons. Shaking the phone twice will conclude a call or delete unwanted messages. Indeed, the phone may well become part of humanity's long evolved sign language.

For example, the user can move the phone sharply to the right and the selection on the MP3 play function will move to the next tune on the list; move it to the left, and the selection will back up to the previous track.

There's also the ability to turn the phone into a percussion instrument such as a tamborine or drum, and create a new genre of music composition for the masses. With a global youth market that has adopted the phone into its culture, the SCH-S310 looks to have potential "killer app" status.

Moreover, Samsung has already developed movement-controlled functions that will be adopted on later models. These include switching from landscape to portrait when shooting video or snapping a still picture, or preventing the picture from becoming blurred from hand movement.

Games will be played by moving the phone up, down, right or left, instead of pressing buttons. The phone will also be able to sense changes in body movement and provide advice on dieting or other health tips.

The "motion beat box" function enables the user to select a particular sound from the menu such as "drum," "tambourine,", "scratch" or "clap." Then he or she shakes the mobile phone the beat will be re-created in rhythm with the motion. This enables the user to keep time with any tune being played.

With the music performance function, the phone will be able to create its own user-controlled music after it is shaken by the user. The sensors in the phone identify the movement and adjust the beat accordingly.

Yet another function of the phgone is that it also has a The Samsung SCH-S310 has a magnetic sensor built-in that serves as a compass. How it works

Ultra-precision technology calculates the spatial movement of the phone in three dimensions, enabling a new form of input

Sophisticated sensing technology calculates the direction in which the mobile phone is moving as well as its speed of movement. The capability extends beyond the identification of the general locus to include precise recognition of small and rapid movements as well as alphanumeric symbols.

Development of 3D movement recognition technology was a joint project between Samsung Electronics and the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology. The project has resulted in applications for 22 domestic and foreign patents and 14 technical papers were presented at leading academic societies.

Samsung Electronics President Lee Ki-tae says, "Our new movement recognition technology opens a new chapter in natural communication. We will continue to work on technology breakthroughs for mobile phones that make life more convenient for people."

TheSCH-S310 comes with GPS, 1.3M-pixel camera, music-on-demand, and mobile banking capabilities.

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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