A research team at the University of Michigan has introduced a technology that stimulates the 3D touch capabilities to your phone without any additional hardware alterations. By now, this feature is only on the Apple’s latest smartphone iPhone 6s.
To give you an overview who are not familiar which this technology, Force Touch is a feature that comes into action when an icon is pressed for long. A small menu appears above the app enlisting different options – 3D touch eliminates clutter and renders additional functionality. Now ForcePhone, a software developed by a team at the University of Michigan can provide the same 3D touch usability, and the best part is that it is compatible with every smartphone having a speaker and mic.
Activating the software will direct the phone to emit a sub-sonic sound at a frequency lower than a human’s sound zone (20- 20,000 Hz). This frequency won’t be detected by a human ear but the phone’s microphone.
Now, when the screen is pressed or if the phone is squeezed, it will cause a change in pitch of the frequency. As the software registers the change, it triggers the phone to perform a specific (or user-selected) function just like the ‘long press’ whilst using the Apple’s 3D touch feature (on the iPhone 6S). This change can open a drop-down menu or make a call to any prefixed number. It is totally up to the user.
Interestingly, this idea came to Yu-Chih Tung, a doctoral student at the University of Michigan, after he watched the 2008 Batman movie- “The Dark Knight”. The particular scene wherein the ‘Batman’ converts every cell phone into a microphone using the sonar-concept for tracking down the audacious ‘Joker’.
Presenting their creation at the MobiSys 2016 conference in Singapore, the developers intend to make ForcePhone available on phones as soon as possible.