Proof of concept project from Media Interaction Lab re-invents smartphone flipcase to provide additional interface features:
FlexCase is a novel flip cover for smartphones, which brings flexible
input and output capabilities to existing mobile phones. It combines an
e-paper display with a pressure- and bend-sensitive input sensor to
augment the capabilities of a phone. Due to the form factor, FlexCase
can be easily transformed into several different configurations, each
with different interaction possibilities. We can use FlexCase to perform
a variety of touch, pressure, grip and bend gestures in a natural
manner, much like interacting with a sheet of paper. The secondary
e-paper display can act as a mechanism for providing user feedback and
persisting content from the main display. In this paper, we explore the
rich design space of FlexCase and present a number of different
interaction techniques. Beyond, we highlight how touch and flex sensing
can be combined to support a novel type of gestures, which we call Grip
& Bend. We also describe the underlying technology and gesture
sensing algorithms. Numerous applications apply the interaction
techniques in real-world examples, including enhanced e-paper reading
and interaction, a new copy-and-paste metaphor, high degree of freedom
3D and 2D manipulation, and the ability to transfer content and support
input between displays in a natural and flexible manner.
The Proportionist iPhone App... A Designer's Friend
It’s been a few months since Interactive Media Lab (IML) released the iPhone app, The Proportionist. Since then, I have used the app a number of times for resizing embedded videos and images on this blog and for clients’ websites. I’ve also used it several times for creating new Photoshop documents with specific proportions and aspect ratios. These are the exact reasons that we created the app in the first place. We saw a need for a tool that we knew we would use countless times that would speed up productivity. The Proportionist does the job.
For a designer, having the right tools to make your work move more quickly and easily is vital to staying on time, on budget and overall more productive. Having an application that does the seemingly simple task of calculating the correct pixel proportions of an image or video frees me up to concentrate on the creative process. Sure, it may be minutes saved, but deadlines are a reality and are ever-increasingly getting shorter and shorter.