updated 10:57 am EST, Thu November 14, 2013
Off-the-glass interactions via hardware sensors
Nokia is reportedly preparing to introduce a new form of gesture interaction with its upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 handsets. Known internally as "3D Touch," the technology is said to use hardware sensors to detect gestures without requiring any physical contact with the phone display, similar to Samsung's Air Gestures system, unnamed sources have told The Verge.
Former Nokia executive design VP Marko Ahtisaari has hinted at the company's plans to take smartphone interactions to a higher level, likening current touchscreen implementations to the boat-inspired tiller steering systems of early cars before steering wheels were brought to automobiles. Even older hints go back to 2008, when another former chief designer, Alastair Curtis, noted that the company already held a patent for gesture technology based on feedback from ultrasonic transducers.
One of the company's upcoming flagship devices, referred to by the monicker "Goldfinger," is said to enable users to interact with the OS by moving a hand above or beside the device. The input is expected to be used to control scrolling and page flipping.
The new 3D Touch features are expected to be at least partially introduced in February at the Mobile World Congress expo in Barcelona.