[PD] OT: Jeff Han + The Crappy State of Mobile Phones (was Apple iPhone)

David Merrill dmerrill at media.mit.edu
Fri Jan 12 15:57:12 CET 2007

Hmm - well the technique that Han uses isn't appropriate for a device as 
small at the phone. (basically, his technique features a camera looking 
at the display surface from underneath - meaning that it requires a 
substantial amount of throw underneath, which isn't available in a 
mobile phone). Also, this technique wasn't invented by Han - he's just 
the first one who has made a really nice, convincing demo of it.

That said - he and his students had a lot of neat ideas for multi-finger 
applications, so Apple may have been in touch with him for some 
-Dave M.

Kyle Klipowicz wrote:
> On 1/12/07, Malte Steiner <steiner at block4.com> wrote:
>> I wonder if they hired Jeff Han for doing the multitouchscreen although
>> it is obviously not cameradriven...
> My guess is that Jeff Han did have something to do w/ development.
> Look at the demo animations and it shows two fingers moving outward to
> zoom into a photo:  this is exactly the method Han used to zoom in on
> a desktop of photos in his own multi-touchscreen demo.
> I am still not sold on this thing either.  It's seems more like a
> concept phone.  My REAL hope lies that all the other phone companies
> and manufacturers will learn that people crave innovation, simplicity,
> and something that 'just works' for data swapping, especially address
> books, email, SMS, and voice mail.
> I have Sprint right now, and they're pretty horrible for a lot of
> these reasons.  My phone (LG PM325) was touted as having Bluetooth,
> but it can't communicate with my PowerBook worth a damn.  It has text
> messaging where you have to sign in to a separate "sprint vision"
> service, a process which takes > 2 mins, just to view an SMS message.
> To connect to my computer and transfer an address book?  Good luck!
> You need an expensive proprietary connector and some software that
> feels like it's in Alpha testing and also must be bought separately.
> Any software must be purchased:  no FLOSS allowed.
> Basically, phones right now need to become more standardized, and open
> to development, rather than being the tin-can platforms for
> after-market jollies that the companies are pushing them to be.
> Hopefully Apple will scare the bejeezus out of the other manufacturers
> into providing a sensible and working product.  It sure worked like
> that against Blockbuster Video when Netflix hit the scene!
> ~Kyle

MIT Media Lab
dmerrill at media.mit.edu

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