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To check messages and battery, shake that phone

Posted: 04 Dec 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:battery shake? mobile phone? check messages?

A handset interface that allows mobile phone users to check if battery power is low or there are new messages by simply shaking the device has been demonstrated by researchers at the University of Glasgow, Scotland.

Dubbed the "Shoogle" the system uses a phone's speaker and vibrator to make a device feel and sound as if it contains liquid when it is running out of power.

To represent number of messages in a phone's inbox, Shooglewhich takes its name from a Scottish-English word meaning to shakemodels the movement of the equivalent number of balls, as if anchored by a spring inside a box.

The technology is being developed by John Williamson of the Department of Computing Science at the University, with colleagues Rod Murray-Smith and Stephen Hughes.

A phone running the software knows when it is being shaken by using accelerometers to sense the handset's movement. The software has so far been tested on a PDA with accelerometers attached and on Nokia phones with the devices built in.

The researchers suggest that with an ever increasing number of phones coming on the market with accelerometers embedded, other ideas that make use them will be developed. They say Nokia has already released a programming kit to help people develop software to use the accelerometers in their phones, making applications easier to develop.

A video showing the Shoogle in use can be seen here.

- John Walko
EE Times Europe

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