[SVHMPC] concept phone with only a touchscreen for UI

Bradley Hook bhook at kssb.net
Tue Jun 5 00:35:21 CEST 2007

A possible solution for this has been discussed under an accessibility
thread. The Maestro is a simple (yet effective) clip-on cover for
PocketPCs. There are a few different versions of it, which work with
various different brands and models of PocketPCs. Check out a picture

The device is simply real buttons that, when pressed, place pressure on
a specific portion of the underlaying touchscreen. Real tactile feedback
without any hardware modifications to the underlaying device. A software
UI written to coincide with the specific button pattern is the only
thing needed. You also get the advantage of very specific pressure
points, allowing you to cram more "hot" areas into the UI than when
using direct finger input.

Now, what would be novel and cool for the Neo is if we could design a
clip-on device that was also mostly (or completely) transparent, so the
screen could be visible while still providing the tactile interface.

Keeping some of the various disabilities in mind while designing the Neo
& OpenMoko could really make it a hit in this sector. Pretty much every
phone solution out there for the blind is a real hack job, a system
capable of catering directly to these folks would be welcome. (FYI, I
work at a school for the blind).


Chris Palmer wrote:
> Interesting ideas, but I'm not sure that any adequately handle the
> tactile needs of a touch typist.  Without looking at the keys, I can
> feel the nubs on the home keys on my phone's mini qwerty to get lined up
> again.  I also have the same concern with using a laser projected
> keyboard (even tho potentially high on the coolness scale).  With just a
> big flat surface then there's no way to keep you lined up on your keys
> at speed.  I type pretty fast on my mini qwerty.  All my personal email
> for the last few years have been 99.9% written on this thing, including
> this one.
> -Chris
> On Sat, 2 Jun 2007 2:10 pm, Jon Phillips wrote:
>> On Sat, 2007-06-02 at 13:35 -0700, Matthew S. Hamrick wrote:
>>>  Well... for a while I was thinking about implanting a strong magnet
>>>  under the skin in one of my fingers to detect alternating current.
>>>  There are a few people out there who have done this and they say they
>>>  can feel a very mild wiggle when the magnet comes near a wire carrying
>>>  AC. It might be possible to detect the current going through the
>>>  touchscreen as you make contact with it.
>>>  But that's probably not a mainstream solution.
>> That sounds like a stelarc solution:
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stelarc
>> What about a glove or thimble that you could put on your finger?
>> How much does vibration tech. kill the battery on phones?
>> Some type of current detection sounds interesting...
>> Jon
>>>  On Jun 2, 2007, at 1:11 PM, Jon Phillips wrote:
>>>  > Yes, it seems pretty clear that screens are the way forward rather
>>>  > than
>>>  >
>>>  > moving parts. I've seen a few solutions to the tactile feedback
>>>  > issue,
>>>  >
>>>  > with the main being have the phone vibrate slightly upon key press,
>>>  >
>>>  > along with sounds.
>>>  >
>>>  >
>>>  > Matthew (and others), have you heard of others?
>>>  >
>>>  _______________________________________________
>>>  OpenMoko community mailing list
>>>  community at lists.openmoko.org
>>>  http://lists.openmoko.org/mailman/listinfo/community
>> -- 
>> Jon Phillips
>> San Francisco, CA
>> USA PH 510.499.0894
>> jon at rejon.org
>> http://www.rejon.org
>> MSN, AIM, Yahoo Chat: kidproto
>> Jabber Chat: rejon at gristle.org
>> IRC: rejon at irc.freenode.net
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