The world has suddenly gone touch-screen mad!
Ever since Apple launched the iPhone, all the talk has been about its new touch-screen display. Then LG announced their iPhone rival, the Prada phone which also has an entirely touch-screen user interface.
Let’s face it, the only feature that comes close to justifying Apple’s claim that the iPhone is “five years ahead of the competition” is the screen.
It uses a new technology called Multi-touch, which, unsurprisingly involves the screen recognising more than one point of contact at a time. This allows for a greater range of commands than simply pressing and letting go with a single point device such as a mouse or a stylus. For example, on the iPhone it will be possible to zoom in and out of objects such as webpages or photos by “unpinching” and “pinching” them, that is drawing apart or closing together two fingers as if stretching or squeezing the image.
The touch-screen also enables the use of a virtual QWERTY keyboard which will appear on the screen whenever necessary, and which hopefully should provide greater comfort than typing using the dinky little QWERTY buttons on a Blackberry.
Samsung, meanwhile, are not to be left behind in the touch-screen race. They say their new W559 is the first screen to offer “tactile feedback”. The VibeTonz system allows the buttons onscreen to feel more like mechanical ones, making the phone easier to use when the screen isn’t clearly visible. It can also be configured to throb in different ways when receiving messages from different people!
The Japanese network DoCoMo have gone one better still. While launching the D800iDS (above), a new touch-screen device that bears more a passing resemblence to the Nintendo DS, they also unveiled a phone that appeals to the senses in a different way. It gives off a relaxing scent! The Sony Ericsson SO703i comes with “replaceable scented sheets” to relax the user while making calls, and features nine different aromas!
So it seems that touch-screens are the future, and why the hell not, if it means manufacturers are going to be producing models like this one from Nokia. The Aeon, unfortunately is only a prototype at the moment, but there should be a worldwide campaign to get it into production. Its the best-looking phone I’ve ever seen!