Optical Joystick interface for mobile devices

3 01 2007

Samsung seems to have become a world leader in digital innovation, with new technologies in 2006 eclipsing those of more established manufacturers such as Sony.  In particular, their mobile phone component technologies have been breathtaking.  Samsung now hold the titles to the world’s slimmest mobile, the mobile phone with the largest capacity memory, the mobile with the highest megapixel phone camera, the world’s slimmest mobile LCD technology… and the list keeps growing.

Now Samsung have released a cellphone with an interface device they call the “optical joystick” – which works a bit like a touchpad on a laptop, enabling a cursor on a mobile phone to move anywhere on the screen.  It’s deployed in one of Samsung’s latest Asian models, the V960, which also incorporates a 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth and GPS capabilities, as well as a light sensor that adjusts the creen’s brightness automatically depending on ambient light conditions – a good way to extend battery life, as LCD screens are the major consumer of power in mobile devices.

samsung_opt_jsphone.jpg

Sounds like a great new idea for making mobile devices more powerful and easier to use; if it’s well-received, expect to see similar interfaces in a ll kinds of devices, from digital music players, to GPS devices, to wristwatches…

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