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SqueezeBlock Tech: A New World of Cell Phone Technology and the Human Senses

Imagine not even having to look at your phone to know if you have a text, an email, or even a call. Sight is no longer a sense necessary to receive mobile alerts anymore. Shwetak Patel and his colleagues at the University of Washington in Seattle are attempting to take a giant leap into the progressive world of pocket technology. It’s called SqueezeBlock tech. They have developed a pressure-based casing that expands and contracts to mimic the tactile feel of a spring. Inside the casing, there are tiny motors built into it to provide feedback and pressure in different areas. Can you imagine just being able to touch your phone and know exactly what it’s trying to alert you about? This new squeezable phone is completely silent. It has four different levels of firmness, indicating anything from phone calls to a low battery life. A quick squeeze could alert you of a new voicemail, or put your mind at rest that your phone is still in silent mode. Some people are foreseeing potential problems with this likely new fad-to-be, including giving up their wafer-thin, sleek smartphone than can fit easily into the back pocket of your skinny jeans without hardly being noticed. The struggle to fit memory, storage, sensors, a processor and many other things into a smartphone case may pose an issue for hardware manufacturers. The bulkiness and brick-like constitution of the old Nokias are back in style! Not really, but with the extra few millimeters, I think consumers are likely to stick with their blinking light and vibration versions.  


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