back to article Sony touts weird multi-sensor handheld gadget tech

A Sony patent application has revealed the firm’s possible plans for a handheld gadget, featuring a standard touchscreen and a bizarre array of individual ‘pressure pads’ running around its edge. PSP_patent_touch_01 Sony's patent drawing of a "handheld device with touchscreen and digital tactile pixels" The electronics giant’ …

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Crazy

What makes you think Sony is "touting" this gadget, just because they've patented some nonsense? Surely they won't be touting it for a few years yet - if ever?

"Well, if the invention were used as a phone, then it’s possible that several digital pixels could be put on either side of the main touchscreen and be used as menu shortcuts."

Eh? Are phones the only devices that have menus now? And besides, if menu items are being displayed on the "main touchscreen", surely by far the most natural way to select an item is to, er... _touch_ it?

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Dan
Paris Hilton

Would the buttons themselves be controllable?

I've thought for ages it would be clever to have a matrix of these things with the ability to make them protrude or flush with the device (on or off), then you could combine the flexibility of soft buttons with the intuitiveness of hard buttons. Notice how easy it is to use the TV remote in the dark without being able to see the buttons? Becomes considerably more clumsy if you have a touchscreen, because you need to look away from the TV and focus on the display.

Paris cos I wouldn't mind pushing her buttons...

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Pirate

He is a God

"But, to keep the hope alive, it’s worth noting that Phil Harrison is listed as the inventor of the Sony gadget."

Phil Harrison - smooth PR man, VP of development, mostly responsible for the success of the PlayStation name, and now inventor ... is there anything he can't do?

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or...

surely the 'tactile pixels' if suitably sensitive could be used as a(n extra) scrolling device. and quite a nice one at that - perhaps it would be less annoying than the iphone scroll which I hate!!

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Surprising

I'd be surprised if there's no prior art on this one.

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b
Go

oo, oo, mr beasley?!

is it a tri-corder?!

the day they can put some sort of heat sensing radar into my mobile phone is the day i get a serious woody!

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Stop

it's a digital harmonica!

blow it and get various digitised instruments.....

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Anonymous Coward

mm

how about a keyboard...

and if apple can patent a f---ing wheel I don't see why sony couldn't patent an array of keys

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We already have tactile pads

It's called a Nintendo DS.

Yes, I know about the stylus, but one of the earliest games let you switch weapons with your thumb on the lower screen.

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Pathetic

The US patent office is getting more and more pathetic and ridiculous every day. Why is it that whenever you combine two things, it's viewed as some novel (and supposedly non-obvious) "invention"? Using pressure-sensor pads instead of physical buttons doesn't change anything. If anything, it's simply a design choice. It most certainly is not an "invention". Then again, when you can get a patent on literally any existing product simply by adding the phrase "on/in a computer"...

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I am the device you want...

Nifty, here is the number one idea for this device. you grab it on both sides, thumbs in the middle, index fingers on top row, it a game or game controller. You grab it with one hand, like a tv remote, and presto its a tv remote, not touching it, its a coaster, or clock. Grab it with the other hand, its a phone. Change you finger orientation and its a palm computer, change it again and its a blackberry. the possibilities are finite, yet numerous.

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Chorded keyboards

Chorded keyboards:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chorded_keyboard

"There are many different designs based on similar concepts, some requiring only one hand for operation."

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Jerome, Jerome, Jerome...

The pixels mentioned are called 'physical', not 'digital'. ALL pixels are digital, you tool.

But all's well, you don't have to buy one when it sees the light of day.

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I assume the pixels are referred to as "digital" because...

...you operate them with your fingers.

Is that my coat? And the door's over that way? Thanks.

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Paris Hilton

@ Deep Tank

The part with the "digital pixels" was a quote. You know, from the article. That's why it's in those things called "quotes". Sigh.

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