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Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Control your mobile phone by, erm, blowing on it

Control your mobile phoneControl your mobile phone by, erm, blowing on it…

After the Zumba phone, that you control with your voice comes a brand new innovation, this time from Korean manufacturer, Pantech. This time, though, it’s not your voice. Nope. According to Cnet Asia, this particular phone technology lets you control your phone by, erm, blowing on it.

Hmmm, ok…

Well, to be fair, it’s not just about controlling the phone by blowing on it, the whole system is actually called the Emotion Engine (oddly, the same name as the chip in the PS2), and brings a couple of new control methods to the party. First up is a feature letting the phone’s camera recognise movement, and so tell when the phone’s moving without needing an accelerometer, like you’d get in something like the Nokia 5800. Ok, granted, Sony Ericsson have talked about doing something similar for ages, but Pantech have pulled it off first.

Next is a part of the system Pantech call the ‘camera engine’. This would work by using the camera on the back of the phone, and by you waving your finger (or a ’stick’, it says in the source article) in front of that camera. The phone picks that up, and replicates it on screen, giving you a virtual proddy, pokey finger, controlled by your own waggling in front of the cam.

Finally, we come to the ‘blow engine’, the bit where you control your phone by blowing on it. Well, on the mic, technically, where you’d speak into normally. It’s said that the phone can recognise the difference between you blowing on it and the actual wind hitting it, and when you think about it, it’s actually quite a cool, if mental, idea. Imagine things like being able to turn off the phone by ‘blowing it out’ like a candle. Or maybe a sailing game where you blow to make your boat move.

That’s even more innovative than the pinchy motion iPhone users love, I’d say!

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