NTT DoCoMo’s new Grip UI can detect how you hold your phone and acts accordingly

October 6, 2012
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Grip UI
Mobile devices are always getting new features. Over the last year we have seen countless features evolve from NFC, for instance. Pretty much every new phone coming out has a really nice voice search system in place. We recently said goodbye to Motorola’s Webtop application. NTT DoCoMo is looking to bring a little uniqueness to their offering with Grip UI.

You can do a lot of cool things with Grip UI. Just moving around the OS, you can use special grips on the side of your phone to do things like open applications. For instance, you can grip the top of your phone and it could open the web browser for you. Or you can grip the bottom, wait for the screen to dim and then swipe right and it’ll open calender. It’s really very unique and you can customize these for your favorite applications.

This is done with a network of pressure sensors that occupy the sides and back of the device. Based on where you grip and how hard you grip, the sensors will send input to the device. Then, depending on your settings, the device will act in a specified manner. In the video below, you can see that you can unlock the device simply by squeezing it.

Could Grip UI be the next big thing for mobile phones?

It definitely should be. Most smart phones and other devices use the popular grid system for icons and widgets. Grip UI could help pull away from that. With literally dozens of ways to grip the phone and issue commands, the need for a home screen isn’t as prevalent as it is now.

As an exmaple, you don’t need a dock at the bottom of every home screen if you can just grip a certain way, swipe up and open your notifications drawer. Program in four other grips and there are your four quick apps that most docks allow for. Now you can go with no dock.

There really is a wealth of possibilities with something like Grip UI. It can detect whether you’re holding it right handed or left handed and portrait or landscape. It can help with small hands or even large hands. Grip UI adapts to the grips of the user, rather than making the user adjust their grip to work with the UI. This could be especially helpful in gigantic phones, like the Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

Check out the video below for a full demonstration or NTT DoCoMo’s official website if you want more info. Is this something that you could see being successful? Tell us what you think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIxhABjlkM4

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