Your smartphone needs a Fat Thumb
If you’ve got a smartphone, inevitably you’ve run into this: you’ve got groceries in one hand, and you need to do something with your phone in the other that requires a pinch or some other currently impossible gesture. Enter the Fat Thumb.
No, it’s not a giant prosthetic thumb you wear, it’s a gesture interface:
Essentially, light touches with your thumb correspond to normal gestures, while exerting more pressure and spreading out your thumb’s pad across the screen corresponds to different gestures, like a pinch to zoom.
The irony is, this is actually a lot faster and easier than using the Apple and Android approved motions. These phones were largely designed by people who think we live in “Star Trek”, so it’s not surprising it took a bunch of Canadian researchers to fix gesture-based interfaces.
This isn’t heading to your phone just yet: it’s still mostly a research paper written by a bunch of Canucks. But it illustrates that even the best designers can occasionally take inspiration from, say, how people actually use their freaking products.
University of Calgary’s Fat Thumb trick [Engadget]