I don’t know if this has been done before or not so if it has I would be glad if someone could point it out to me. The following is an idea I had for a smartphone that includes more tactile interaction.
I will probably get an iPhone when my current phone dies but for now I have a Motorola Razr. I quite like the clam shell design because of it’s tactile interaction. I can answer a call by flipping the phone open and hang up by flipping it closed. This to me feels more natural than pressing a button (a virtual button at that on most of todays smartphones). In fact I prefer physical tactile interaction over buttons on all my devices. I think it creates a stronger connection in our minds between the action we are performing and the outcome it creates.The full touchscreen interface is a brilliant set up and I’m not going to say that it is bad. I will say though that it lacks that physical interaction. And so my idea.
A Dual Screen Smartphone
What I envisage is a phone where there is a full touchscreen on each side of the phone. This I think would offer many advantages. It will offer many opportunities to interact with the phone by physically rearranging it. Here are some ideas.
- No matter which way you put the phone down it is the right way up.
- Multitasking by flipping the phone over
- On a call and want to access an app? Flip the phone over, speakerphone is automatically engaged and your apps are waiting for you.
- Conference call with two local people
- Games which take advantage of the two screens (a turn based multi player game for example)
- Apps which take advantage of the two screens (browser which turns into tab thumbnails when flipped for example)
- The ability to set a message to show on the outside screen when you are on a call and you have the handset to your ear (set by the user such as “Go away I’m on a call.”)
- Control apps with both touch interaction on both sides simultaneously (this could be really funky).
- Flip an app to access settings.
And I’m sure you can think of many more.
So Apple, and other smartphone manufacturers, this is my challenge to you.
Turn this idea into reality or come up with other creative ideas to introduce more physical interaction with your devices.