iPhones, haptics and fingerprints

March 18, 2015

 

 

I admit to being a bit of a rebel. Which generally means if everyone is doing something I do something else. Be that as it may, I have jumped on the Apple bandwagon and gosh I love my iPhone. I'm wow'd by the clean, sleek design and the way it fits my hand like it was made for me. I just got an iPhone 6 and at first I thought the bigger size would make it clumsy to use, but now I like it even better than my old 4s. The clean white, the shiny silver rim of the Home button and the simple aesthetic -- so great. I basically love everything about it except...

 

The fingerprints.

 

My iPhone is sitting right beside me and even as I admire it I can't help but notice the fingerprints smearing up the front. When I first got a smartphone I wondered if I had exceptionally greasy fingers, but this is a problem that plagues every touchscreen device I come across.

 

I confess I have some OCD tendencies. I have stuff on my laptop to prevent scratches and keyboard grime. But I can't be the only one who's grossed out by the thought of the microbe infestation on public touchscreens.

 

It seems so tragic to have this beautiful, sleek device getting all mucked up every time you touch it. I want someone to invent a haptic feedback system that will read and intercept your touch before your finger hits the screen -- like a force field. I read about haptic holograms recently, which is so amazing. (I cannot wait for holograms. I was born too soon.) Fujitsu's getting close to having haptic feedback, but that's still not solving the fingerprint problem.

 

Fingerprints or not, I'm sure haptic feedback will become commonplace and it'll open up a whole new set of design considerations. I had an Android phone once that had a subtle vibration when you turned it on or typed, and I really miss that in the iPhone experience. It added a sense of "aliveness" and an emotional connection to the device. We're connected to our devices regardless, but it's something that was comforting and that I still miss years later.

 

 

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March 18, 2015

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