The US Patent & Trademark Office recently published a patent application from Samsung regarding future mobile device functionality. More specifically, Samsung's invention is designed to provide consumers with a more intuitive input-related user interface by combining sensing technology with an input method of a mobile device. Further, the present invention maximizes the convenience of the user by reducing the input steps for a prompt instruction performance.
Future Samsung mobile devices could very well include the ability to change the user interface according to the function the user wants, according to a new patent filing revealed by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
The filings describes a sensor being integrated into a future mobile device in concert with a controller, as illustrated in patent FIG.1 below, that will be able to change the user interface precisely. As the sensor senses a movement of the mobile device, appropriate applications will be called up depending on the particular movement that the user makes. To accurately assist the user calling up the right application, the mobile device will also include additional sensors such as an acceleration sensor, a gravity sensor and a gyro sensor to make sure that a particular motion of the device translates to a specific action.
Samsung then notes that the sensor unit may measure a change amount of a rotation angle of the mobile device. The change amount of the rotation angle may be measured with respect to a normal state of the mobile device, and the normal state can be defined by a state in which the user interface is not activated by function.
Samsung Envisions Cubed User Interface Design Feature
In Samsung's patent FIGS. 4A and 4B noted below we're able to see an example of the system for a music playlist application. Patent FIG. 4A illustrates the devices screens in two different states (P20 and P22) for a music play application. The left screen (P22) is a screen for a music play mode and the right screen (P20) is a screen for a music editing mode.
Then in Samsung's patent FIG. 4B, we're able to see screens F20 and F22 for a music play application wherein the left screen F20 is a screen for a music editing mode and the right screen F22 is a screen for a music play mode.
In patent FIG. 4B, when the mobile device is displayed in a normal state, only the screen F22 for a music play mode is displayed, and when the mobile device rotates or returns back to the initial angular position after rotation, only the screen F20 for the music editing mode is displayed. The change of the input interface like this may be implemented by the cube screen changing effect in which a virtual cube of which a corresponding input interface is displayed on each surface as it rotates as noted in the graphic above.
That is, according to an embodiment of the present invention, the mobile device senses the vertical change amount of the vertical change amount over time so that a new input interface of an editing function environment is generated.
In this manner, the mobile device omits more than one input step for the instruction performance which is a convenience to a busy or disabled person. Further, the embodiment of the present invention enables the intuitive usage of a mobile apparatus.
Samsung's patent filing later described and illustrated how a user will be able to switch a virtual keyboard's letter-mode to that of a number-mode and/or switching languages from English to Korean (or any other language) by simply rotating the mobile device in a strict movement recognized by the motion system. Another example that they provided us with was one calling up a music video menu with a particular movement to control the video content (volume up/down, video pause/play etc).
Samsung already provides their users with a hand-wave motion feature today that's set to answer a user's phone. So this latest feature appears to be an extension of that principle. The difference this time around, however, is that the device has to move in order to trigger a motion user interface change.
Is it a gimmick? Until we actually see this play out, it's hard to judge. Though I think that the "cubed" user interface and has potential if Samsung takes their time to think it out right and think it through properly so that the gimmickry is diminished and the functionality is maximized.
Though knowing Samsung, they'll likely shoot for momentary flash in the pan gimmickry over substance. Time will tell if they ever learn that lesson or not, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Volume oriented manufactures usually shoot for flash from year to year simply to maximize shipments. It's not about the long term user experience as much as it is about meeting quotas.
Samsung filed their patent application in Q2 2013 in the US and in December 2010 in Korea. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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