From projected touchscreens to cellphone radar; it's obviously trendy right now to develop non-traditional interface methods. Nokia's Research bods have been playing with a new system of electromagnetic waves, which can be used to track movement around a specially adapted N95 even when there's an obstacle in the way.
RIM's rumored BlackBerry Magnum has been spotted in the wild, at least in prototype form. As you might quickly spot, the smartphone lacks a center trackball or touchpad; instead, this full-QWERTY BlackBerry has a touchscreen display.
Engadget’s got their hands on a Slate PC prototype from Stantum, which comes from a “hacked-up Dell mini 10”. The 10-inches of prime real estate features Stantum's multitouch, ultra-sensitive and pressure-simulating resistive touchscreen technology.
This might look like the eye-level view from a Rovio gone rogue and trying to wipe out your family, but it's actually a concept shot from the new Scope augmented reality game. The handiwork of Frantz Lasorne, Scope mixes together some of the common elements we've seen in previous AR systems - computer-recognizable glyphs, heads-up displays overlaid across a live view of the surrounding area - and makes it all about shooting toys.
We were already thinking about 3D displays, what with the Blu-ray Association's new 3D HD specification, but Ivan Poupryev's Lumen prototype takes things one tactile step further. His concept involves an array of physically moving pixels, each of which can independently light up and extend out from the screen. As well as moving, undulating shapes, there's also a sensor layer on top which allows the pixels to respond to finger touch.
Prototype digital media tablets seem to be the concepts of the moment, and we're particularly enamoured with Bonnier R&D's Mag+. They reckon that part of the appeal of magazines is the ability to "lose yourself" in the content, and as such the concept - which was designed by BERG - is navigated by "shifting focus" though tapping different sides of the screen.
The last Synaptics concept we really got excited about was the Onyx smartphone - in fact we went all the way to the company's head office to play with their prototype - and now they're back with a new smartphone idea. The Synaptics Fuse takes multitouch capacitive sensing and throws in force, grip and proximity sensing, along with haptic feedback and 3D graphics. The end result is a squeezable smartphone that spreads its sensors not only across the touchscreen but down the sides, too, so as to be fully usable even with just one hand. Fuse is a collaboration between Synaptics, TI, Immersion, TheAlloy and The Astonishing Tribe, and is based on a TI OMAP 3630 processor and a 3.7-inch WVGA AMOLED touchscreen.
As video demos go we'd have preferred to see a little bit more of the ZiiLABS TRINITY smartphone, but a brief splash of the ZMS-05 based handset outputting 1080p High Definition video is not something to be sniffed at. While the current TRINITY reference design has a proprietary docking connector on the bottom, Creative have already said that it's a simple matter to switch that to a mini HDMI and microUSB pair.
One of the questions we still had after seeing the Entourage eDGe prototype demonstrated earlier this week was just how integrated the two halves - e-ink display and netbook LCD - were. NetbookNews have followed up with a second video showing the system in action, and while it doesn't look quite optimized yet it does show how Entourage have leveraged the best of each panel.
ZiiLABS' TRINITY is designed to draw the attention of smartphone lovers to the ZMS-05 platform, just like its ZiiEGG predecessor did for PMPs, and it seems to be doing a pretty good job. Crave Asia grabbed some hands-on time with the smartphone - which is capable of 1080p HD video playback, has a 3.1-inch 800 x 480 OLED capacitive touchscreen and triband WCDMA/HSDPA connectivity - and came away reasonably impressed.