I don’t recall when a phone was installed upstairs but it was a wall phone and placed in the hallway. Imagine that. You actually had to GO to the phone to get calls. And I was a very boring teenager. I hardly ever used the phone. Some of that is probably because my Grandmother reminded us all that PHONES ARE FOR ADULT BUSINESS. Well, I was a bit inhibited about using phones for a long time, but I think I got over that. When I moved into my first apt I installed phone wiring all over the place in order to have phones in several of the rooms. Unlike the black phone I grew up with the phones in my apt had modular plugs and could be inserted in any room that had a plug.
And then came cell phones. Notice the progression here. You used to GO TO the phone to use it, now it COMES with you. And the differences are more subtle than that. Because phones do more than let you talk to people the design and GUI have evolved past a box with a “horn”. Everyone familiar with cell phones knows how to use it almost out of the box. At this point in cell phone history we all expect interfaces with menus, windows, key presses and so on. But even this is about to be surpassed.
The New Cell Phone Interface
Using this pad on a device means No Buttons necessary! The pad is sensitive enough for finger input, gestures (!), sensing shapes, and even text entry. I’ll have to see how THAT works. I like the idea that putting your cell phone against your face will Answer the phone or make a call. You’ll be able to assign gestures or finger taps to certain functions. What I like about this concept is that how you use your device becomes completely personal. The system responds to Your desires, your requirements, your needs. As I see it because this GUI is software you may be able to upgrade your device easily. No more complaining about the buttons being too small for big fingers. Software means scaling of any hot spots to accommodate any size finger or body part. The mind boggles!
Apparently the prototype phone can have more than one application open at once. This sounds very “Amiga-like” – for those of us who remember that clever multitasking machine. I love this idea because I’ll be able to copy info from one application into another easily. There’s been times when I wished I could copy a link found in OperaMini into my Contacts list, for example. Not being able to multitask feels clumsy and annoying, especially for those of us who have been spoiled. Cellphones are portable computers and should act like accordingly. This “ClearPad” is a step in the right direction.
Written by Cecilia