Monday, March 24, 2008

A Clamshell / Flip iPhone ?

Like reported before, Apple Considering Clamshell iPhone Design? Well now we have a little more to go on. Inspired by a recently revealed Apple patent unwiredview has created mockups of a clamshell/flip iPhone. The drawings below are based on a device described in a recent Apple’s patent application, called “Dual sided trackpad“. The main idea with this device is to separate capacitive touch sensor array and the phone display into two separate units. Then put the touch sensor array on a translucent (transparent) panel, make this panel touch sensitive on both sides - top and bottom and connect them with a hinge. Essentially this creates a flip iPhone. When the flip is closed you would access your multi-touch iPhone as you normally do. When the flip is opened you would control the iPhone using the flip as a trackpad.

Un wired view suggests these ways to use the trackpad:
- If you want to dial a number, you can just draw it on a trackpad.

- Or the rotational dial may appear on display, and you rotate it by sliding finger on a track pad.

- In the open mode, the transparent trackpad can easily be made to display the standard T9 keypad and other symbols. That can be accomplished by making polarized number and symbol markings that can only be seen when the trackpad is open. Or they can be implemented as tiny LED’s.

- When needed, you can keep both sides of the cover/trackpad touch-active at the same time. Thus having “six degrees of freedom” for control, and enabling 3D gestures on the device. Standard multi-touch gestures along “XY” axis on one side of trackpad, adding “Z” axis for the touch events on the other.

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