HTC is working on next gen “Virtual Book” touch UI
Nowadays, every mobile company in the world is hard at work to come up with the best user interface for their mobile touchscreen devices.
Samsung is developing TouchWiz, LG has S-Class, Nokia has S60 5th edition (Now Symbian^1) and Maemo 5, Sony Ericsson has their panels, even Acer has come up with it’s own UI for the new smartphones.
However, one of the most interesting and innovative companies in the field is HTC. They were the first to skin Windows Mobile with advanced TouchFlo UI. Later that became an even better ToucFlo 3D. And, just a few months ago, they transformed that into an even more advanced HTC Sense UI, which is easily, one of the best touch interfaces out there.
But HTC is not sitting still, and seems to be at work on a new generation of touch UI, organized as a virtual book:
Described in HTC patent application, called “Electronic device and user interface display method thereof”, the book like UI:
organizes applications, widgets, and web pages into pages of a virtual book. Each page of the virtual book is the UI of a service or function of the handheld electronic device. Flipping the pages of the virtual book means browsing and selecting the services and functions provided by the handheld electronic device. This book-like UI enables the user to use and manage these applications, widgets, and web pages in an easy and intuitive way like browsing a conventional printed book. The book-like UI hides the differences among applications, widgets, and web pages so that the handheld electronic device can be accessed through a uniform and convenient UI.
The virtual book UI is pretty flexible and customizable, allowing carriers or service providers to add their services, programs and widgets, as additional pages in a book.
The idea sounds pretty interesting. At least on paper. I wonder how all this flipping through pages will work in real life.
Still, HTC already proved that they can design and implement some great touch interfaces, so the book style touch UI might turn up just as good, if/when HTC decides to release a new mobile device with it.