July 2, 2009

iPhone 3G H or iPhone 3G K?

The iPhone 3G S is out in America, and Apple is already thinking of some new hardware (and software) components for what seems to be the next few iPhone's. Yes, here are some more patents.

1) Haptic Feedback
This feature is notably not new for modern touch screen phones that are made by Koreans, but Apple proposes that the haptic feedback should have different frequencies depending on what clickable user component is present on the screen. In more condensed terms, if the iPhone has, for example's sake, a click wheel displayed on-screen, the vibration you'll feel from touching the wheel (which is basically the 'feedback') will be different from when you touch the center of the click wheel. This could somewhat help blind users a little bit.

2) Fingerprint scanner
Going hand-in-hand with the haptic feedback patent is a sort of fingerprint scanner. While laptops already have this as a security feature, Apple also proposes something else that will enable the user more control over the iPhone without even taking it out.
Basically, the multi-touch screen will read your fingers distinctly- as in it can determine whether the finger you used to press the touch screen is the thumb, the index finger, the middle finger, the ring finger or the pinky individually, which is actually kinda cool. Supposedly, because the screen does know how to read these fingers separately, the touch screen can let you control, say, the music player of the iPhone by just putting your hand in the pocket and poking the touch screen with the index finger so it can pause for a bit.

Hey, with that and haptic feedback, there's a potential winner! Now if only the technology could even be perfected first?

3) Karaoke.
In a rather bizarre twist, Apple also published a karaoke interface for the iPhone. Like Rock Band however, it will also read your voice's pitch and tell you if you're singing a song right. Apparently, you'll be able to make voice memos of your singing as well.
Apple also proposed that this feature be in the iPod application, which is probably the only sensible place to put it anyway, although it bothers me if the music you'll be able to sing to will have to be bought from iTunes...

An interesting, but ultimately gimmicky, proposition. Maybe the advertising division thought this up... jokingly.

4) The iPhone's also an RFID reader.
Forget putting some barcodes in the iPhone's camera, the future, it seems, lies in RFID. RFID is basically like a barcode on steroids-- when a reader reads it, it will also provide information like how many times a day one should take a pill (if the RFID tag is on a prescribed drug, etc.).

This is gonna put a bit of a new layer on the iPhone, simply because Apple wants the whole touch screen to be the reader itself. This will obviously be of much use in the future, so I'm guessing Apple will only introduce this functionality when RFID actually catches on. Wonder if this will make Delicious Library iPhone a bit more functional if ever books get RFID's?

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