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Samsung SCH-W559 with VibeTonz system
Ralf Jurrien : January 24th 2007 - 23:03 CET
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SamsungSamsung SCH-W559 with VibeTonz system : Immersion Corporation, a leading developer and licensor of touch feedback technology, announced today the new Samsung SCH-W559, the first touchscreen-based mobile phone in the world to use Immersion’s VibeTonz System to provide tactile feedback for touchscreen interactions. The SCH-W559 uses a large 260,000-color QVGA LCD touchscreen display to replace the traditional mechanical keypad as the primary input mechanism. Users receive confirming tactile cues when they press graphical onscreen controls, and they can customize the response by selecting one of five feedback profiles for these cues. Immersion’s VibeTonz System allows touchscreen-displayed buttons to feel more like mechanical keys.
Samsung W559 VibeTonz system
VibeTonz tactile feedback can also help improve usability in situations where controls are obscured by fingers or washed out by glare. “We believe that market conditions are almost ripe for an explosion in touchscreen phones, and that by 2012 as many as 40% of mobile phones could be using some form of touch sensitive technology,” said Stuart Robinson, director of the Handset Component Technologies service at global research and consulting firm Strategy Analytics. “The integration of any technology that improves ease of use will be important for market adoption, and Immersion’s VibeTonz technology certainly fits that description.”

Samsung SCH-W559

Samsung SCH W559 - Features
The new phone is being sold by China Unicom, the third largest mobile operator in the world with 135 million subscribers. Designed to roam globally by working on both CDMA and GSM networks, the SCH-W559 includes handwriting recognition, Bluetooth technology, 1.3 megapixel camera, and audio and video playback functions. VibeTonz capabilities in the phone also provide full-fidelity vibration tracks synchronized with eight preloaded ringtones. Vibe-enhanced ringtones enable personalization and add an element of fun to phone use and can help identify callers in noisy environments.

Samsung W559 - Keypad touchscreen functions
“Implementing keypad functions in a touchscreen has allowed Samsung to give its customers a first-class multimedia and messaging experience in a remarkably light and slim handset,” said Hunbae Kim, Samsung vice president. “As the first to integrate VibeTonz technology for touchscreens, we’re giving users the reassuring sense of interacting with a real keypad, supplying gentle touch feedback that unmistakably confirms each of their actions. As far as advanced mobile interfaces go, it offers the best of both worlds.”

Samsung SCH-W559 - Immersion VibeTonz System
“Our VibeTonz System can provide mobile device manufacturers with an inexpensive enhancement to touchscreen operation,” explains Immersion CEO Vic Viegas. “It also provides a platform for a wide range of additional features that can add fun, engagement, and improved usability to mobile devices.”

SCH-W559 - VibeTonz tactile feedback
Since the first VibeTonz-enhanced phone was introduced in April 2005, VibeTonz applications for mobile devices have multiplied. VibeTonz tactile feedback for mobile device touchscreens, announced in June 2006, is only the latest application. Mobile games are more fun and exciting with touch feedback similar to that found in console games. Tactile cues for user interface features, like call dropped, key press, and ringing and busy signals can make phone operation easier and more intuitive. VibeTonz effects accompanying ringtones or music are like turning up the subwoofers. And VibeTonz alerts that can vary from a reverberating gong effect to a subtle tapping can be more discernible and memorable. An enabling platform, the VibeTonz System opens possibilities for a fuller, more multisensory user experience -- for example, for a loved one’s message to arrive feeling like a beating heart or for a movie trailer to draw you into the exciting motorcycle chase by letting you feel engine acceleration.

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