InputDynamics has been developing for the past three years, in conjunction with the Signal Processing Department from the University of Cambridge, a recognition engine for taps from a user on an electronic device equipped at a minimum with a single microphone.
We have called our recognition engine TouchTap™. The TouchTap™ recognition engine can be built-in for instance in an application for smartphones thus enabling the user to interact with the handset by: - tapping with finger pads/nail on the casework outside the touchscreen area; - tapping with finger pads/nail on the touchscreen area when touchscreen not active; - tapping with fingernail (inert for capacitive touchscreens) on the touchscreen area when touchscreen active thus overlaying additional input functionality on top of the touchscreen itself. The TouchTap™ recognition engine does not need any new hardware as it uses the existing handset’s microphone and accelerometer data streams to detect tapping from the user onto the handset. Single, double or multiple tapping inputs can be allowed for as input commands for the app. A one-off simple and fast training routine from the user after installation optimizes the use of the single, double or multiple tapping input functionality.
We have boldly called this new user interface, enabled by the TouchTap™ recognition engine, the Big Fat Soft-Key™ User Interface because we boldly want to enhance the smartphone user experience with new ways of interaction that are intuitive and flexible. A convenient location for imparting commands using the Big Fat Soft-Key™ is the back-cover of the handset where the user can ergonomically tap with the index finger of the hand holding the handset.
Examples of use-cases of the Big Fat Soft-key™ are taking pictures, browsing pictures, zooming-in or out, skipping tracks, enhancing the game experience and so on. The examples are endless. As a first example of an application for the Big Fat Soft-Key™ User Interface we are developing an Android app for taking photos called Big Fat Soft-Key Camera™ app. Big Fat Soft-Key Camera™ will enable the user to take camera shots by tapping single-handed on the Big Fat Soft-Key™, for instance on the back of the handset in a natural ergonomic position for the hand.
ABOUT IDL InputDynamics aims to make the Big Fat Soft-Key™ the global industry standard for casework input functionality by selling apps & merchandise and by partnering with developers, operating system vendors and handset/tablet/touchscreen controllers /multimedia hub manufacturers. InputDynamics is raising finance to accelerate the introduction of our software-only input solutions across the various handset platforms and electronic devices.