Samsung: Let’s turn your clamshell into joystick !
When it comes to the user interface and playability of games on mobile phones, so far no one’s got it right. The screens are too small as are operation/navigation keys, the games are slow, the graphics primitive. Still, looks like gaming on the mobile phones is here to stay and every cellphone maker is trying something to make it better.
Sony Ericsson is looking into PSP phone, Nokia is beefing up it’s N-Gage mobile gaming platform and readying the new gaming phones like Nokia N81, LG thinks about dual touchscreen phones with interesting gaming applications.
Samsung isn’t sitting still either. It’s recent patent application called Joystick apparatus for mobile terminal describes an interesting approach to the controls of mobile games on the phone:
No more inconveniently placed keys for game operation, no more tiny pop-up joysticks that you can barely place a finger on. Just take the lower part of the clamshell phone and turn it into a joystick.
The implementation itself is pretty complex and uses clever engineering, multiple magnets and Hall effect integrated circuits to capture 3D movements of a joystick and turn them into the game control signals. (You’ll have to read the patent application for more details).
But the idea itself is pretty simple and neat. And while a joystick on your Samsung gaming clamshell may not be suitable for all the games, for some of them, like racing or first person shooters it might be just perfect.