A new software has been developed that will make smartphones smarter still. A team of researchers at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan recently brought forth ForcePhone. The software that can help phones to sense pressure and convert it into commands to perform tasks.
Phones sensitive to pressure have, until now, been exclusive to users of the latest Apple phones. However, this new software can be installed on any smartphone to make it pressure-sensitive, says the report released by the University of Michigan. It does not need any hardware enhancements to the phone as it makes use of the most common features of the phone, its speaker and microphone.
The software causes the speaker to emit soundwaves of frequencies higher than what is audible to humans. When the user presses down on the phone or exerts any pressure on it, the microphone picks up the change in frequency caused by the pressure. The software then translates this change into a command to the phone to execute the designated task. Different patterns of force exerted on the phone translate into different commands.
PC Mag reported that the research team was led by Kang Shin, a professor of computer science, and Yu-Chih Tung, a doctoral student. They revealed through the University's news release that their inspiration for the software came from the movie "The Dark Knight," which portrays fictional software that uses sonar produced by phones to gain visual access to the phones' neighborhood. They went on to describe the usefulness of their software in emergency situations when there is a need to use the phone discreetly.
The software will not be available for popular use anytime soon. The department aims to present it at the Mobisys 2016 to be held in Singapore, which is an international forum that showcases developments in mobile technology from all over the world.