research

Dynamic Knobs

On the very same button, sending a text message should feel different than taking a picture.

The buttons that can be found in mobile information devices are, compared to what our fingers are able to do, relatively simple. This project proposes richer buttons, through the inclusion of a force sensor and a force-exerting motor on the inside of a mobile phone. The »Dynamic Knob« can be used as a shape-based display, a pressure-sensitive input, and a variety of combinations of the two:

Taking a photograph is a frequently performed operation, and should, as for the button involved, be easily performable – however, it is a two-step process in itself (including the intermediate step of focusing) – which, ideally, should be haptically perceivable while operating the button. At the same time, deleting a folder of pictures should be harder to perform, being more critical, and less often used.

Furthermore, the device allows for the »squeezing« of a voice mail message out of the phone: This enables users to navigate within the message while holding the phone closely to the ear: Squeezing normally to play, releasing to rewind, and squeezing strongly to fast-forward.

Data Protection

Fabian Hemmert