Why just use your fingers to control your phone when you can use … your knuckles? That’s the question, or one of many, that the folks at Qeexo are asking. This Mountain View-based startup has been in the business of finding new ways for us to interact with our touchscreen devices since 2012, and its FingerSense technology lets users use their knuckles as a totally separate tool from their fingertips. Already used by 20 million Huawei phones in China, FingerSense is finally coming to the U.S. with the Honor 8.
While we’ve all become accustomed to touching a button or a screen to make something happen, Qeexo believes that there’s much more to come in this realm. FingerSense, for example, lets people use their knuckles to draw a letter — if you trace an “e,” you could open your email, or if you draw an “m,” you can open a music app. Alternatively, a double knuckle tap could take a screenshot. In essence, it expands the horizons of what you can actually do with nothing more than your digits.
“At Qeexo, we believe there is an incredible opportunity to innovate the core touch experience for mobile devices,” said Sang Won Lee, CEO of Qeexo. “Through FingerSense, we’ve been able to introduce exciting new features loved by our users, and we will continue to develop unique ways to provide a much richer touch experience.”
But that’s not all Qeexo is working on. The company is also working on what it calls TouchTools, an even more sophisticated collection of gestures that turns your phone or tablet screen into a virtual measuring tape, a whiteboard, and more. By using multitouch data and machine learning, Lee says, TouchTools will be able to detect the positioning of a user’s hands, and respond accordingly.
While this particular technology is still in its nascent stages, Lee remains hopeful that things could take off in the near future, especially as consumers expect more and more from their mobile devices.
“The space is getting incredibly competitive,” Lee said. “Consumers are waiting longer to replace their phones because they’re hesitant to buy a new device that is no different from their previous device.” But with the introduction of TouchTools, there just might be a demonstrably different device sooner rather than later.