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An idea for the iPhone proximity sensor.

post #1 of 2
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Alright, don't pay attention to me if I'm just restating something someone (or a lot of people) have said before, but I've got an idea for iPhone's proximity sensor.

First of all, it needs to be moved from the speaker of the phone. Apple needs to figure out a way for the entire screen to be a proximity sensor, so it can tell when your finger is close to the screen, not just touching it. With this functionality, the screen could obviously still tell the difference between a point (your finger) and a blob (your face), and still be able to dim the screen accordingly. Now, the reason for doing this:

A full screen proximity sensor would allow for the buttons to enlarge and get smaller according to how close your finger is to them. This is a one-up for the iPhone, as it has no tactile feedback and the buttons are only affected by direct touch. Think of this as a sort of full-screen dock option; just like the dock on mac os x can be configured to enlarge when the mouse scrolls over it, so will the buttons be able to enlarge slightly or even a lot (can be configured by the user) according to the proximity of the finger. This solves the fat fingers/ hard to read/ push buttons problem.

Furthermore, with a dynamic proximity sensor like this, apple could even include the option of a sort of mouse-like feature... obviously you could turn it on or off, but it would respond to the proximity of the finger, and would perhaps just make a small circular shadow on the screen where the fingertip is, just to give the user a reference of where they're pointing. It would be much more subtle and less static than the little black pointer we use on our computers today. In fact, it could very much resemble the dots Apple uses in its sample videos of the iPhone OS.

Obviously, I don't really know how Apple would do this, but it seems like they could figure it out, and it'd be a great feature to include.

Thoughts?
post #2 of 2
the point of the proximity sensor was so that you dont do anything you dont want to with your face. but all this seems a bit fiddly and over complicated, all of which apple tries, and succeeds, in to avoid and find a simple way out of. remember, they've spent 2.5 years on this thing. now thats a lot of work.
"i find that if you keep talkin', your mouth comes up with stuff..." Karl Pilkington
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"i find that if you keep talkin', your mouth comes up with stuff..." Karl Pilkington
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