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Touchscreens may have completely changed the mobile phone interface, but tomorrow’s phones will go even further, responding to grip, squeezing and other input on the sides and back of the device. This, at least, is the vision of Swedish interface designers TAT (The Astonishing Tribe), which recently demoed a concept phone called Fuse at the Mobile World Congress.
Fuse was created for Texas Instruments together with partners Synaptics, Immersion and Alloy. The phone demonstrates multiple interface technologies. The entire phone — back, sides and screen — is touch-sensitive. The interface responds to grip — squeezing the sides of the phone, — and users can navigate through the on-screen interface without obscuring their view by touching the back of the phone. The phone also gives tactile feedback so that, for example, you can feel objects bouncing off the side of the screen.
TAT also got a lot of attention for its demo of a multiple screen display on the Blaze mobile development platform, another project for TI based on the OMAP 4 platform. That demo used one screen for navigation and the other for viewing content.
TAT is based in Malmo, Sweden, employs 150 people and is privately funded.