Researchers at Columbia University and Snapchat's parent company, Snap, have come up with a clever smartphone control method. It allows you to add dial-up and switch to your phone without any connection or Bluetooth pairing. The secret is an accompanying application that can access an accelerometer or an inertial measurement unit (IMU) on a mobile phone. When you press the button or turn the dial, the system can activate all kinds of mechanical input by sensing the small and sudden movement of the mobile phone in space.
If you want to know how it works, try pressing the volume increase or decrease button: it's almost impossible without causing a slight movement of the phone itself. Researchers have developed small mechanical inputs called widgets that can be added as modules to connect to the back of the phone housing. They don't add too much volume, they don't cost too much, and they don't need their own power supply.
For example, you can add a dial to enlarge maps or photos when you have only one hand to operate the phone freely. Or, you can use the buttons on the side of the device to control the game so that you don't have to cover the screen with your fingers. Mobile phone accelerometer or inertial measurement unit (IMU) can detect widget movement. In their paper, researchers say that physical widgets give us a reassuring sense of control, provide a sense of direction, and improve the efficiency of mobile game manipulation.
Physical widgets often supplement software widgets when it is not convenient for users to touch the screen. For example, when you wear gloves in cold weather, these gadgets come in handy, and because they are modular, you can quickly reconfigure them to fit your left or right hand.
The system is not ready for marketing. More work needs to be done to improve the accuracy of motion detection. Considering the participation of Snap, the various components in this design may become hardware equipment manufactured with Snapchat.