updated 09:45 am EST, Tue December 19, 2006
Samsung V960 Optical Phone
The mobile division of Samsung on Tuesday said it had developed what could be a revolution in the way cellphone owners control their devices. The V960 replaces the by now everyday four-way joystick with an optical sensor that tracks movement as the finger glides across the surface. As with an optical mouse at a PC, the system is sensitive to movement in 360 degrees. This provides an opportunity to refine the steadily aging control system on most phones, Samsung says: an on-screen pointer replaces button highlights or a costly touchscreen, replicating the quicker control of a computer's mouse without the added size.
The V960 is also rare for its use of an illumination sensor that controls the brightness of the main display and key backlighting. A 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and a microSD slot for music and video complete the package. Samsung hopes to launch the V960 in Korea by the end of this month, but is likely to introduce the CDMA-based handset in other regions next year.