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Handhelds Hardware Technology

Haptics Technology Turns Phones into Weapons 115

slashdottit! tm
SkinnyGuy writes "Virtually all of our phones have little motors that make vibration possible. Now there's a company working on taking the abilities of these mini motors much, much further. Touch-Bak's technology allows for users to send 'virtual punches' and jabs, and can send phones flying from the hands of users if they're unaware of the service. It's all a bit on the extreme side and, to his credit, the PCMag.com author recognizes that, but it's still a fascinating application of the little understood Haptics technology. '"Imagine," Galsworthy continued, "that you know your buddy Kyle is in an important meeting and you know that he keeps his phone in his pocket. You can deliver a digital punch right to his thigh. He jumps out of his seat during the meeting and . . . it's hilarious!" Galsworthy was so tickled by this description of events that he was lost in fits of laughter on the other side of the phone. To me, this service is childish and, well, kind of stupid.'"
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Haptics Technology Turns Phones into Weapons

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  • phone-fu (Score:5, Funny)

    by Shadow_mil (1029344) * on Saturday March 31, 2007 @10:28PM (#18563105)
    Don't mess with me... I know phone-fu 8)
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by saskboy (600063)
      Go ahead and attack, I'll block your call!
    • by wdnsdy (977228)
      The ridiculous thing about all this for me is that I've been waiting for something like this on gamepads and joysticks. I want to feel recoil and impacts instead of that strange vibration which doesn't really match what goes on in-game. Head-on collision in GTA -> 1 second vibration... wtf? Needless to say I currently don't use the feature on existing controllers.
    • by Yaotzin (827566)
      I'm in ur phone, punching your thigh!
    • by UnderDark (869922)
      Do not try and fight the phone, that is impossible; instead, try and realize the truth...there is no phone.
    • In Soviet Russia, the phone knows *You*-fu!
  • Although this seems feasible for the retarded realm of consumer technologies, the fated day of fools grows nigh.

    Wait... I just remembered Crazy Frog topping the charts in Europe.

    Yes... this could very well be real.
    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by fatduck (961824) *
      Given that there is apparently no website for this company, and the PCMag article links to a .jpg advertisement, and the service itself seems completely implausible, I'd say it's clearly an April Fool's joke.
      • Never mind the fact that mobile phone software does not have this kind of access to the vibe motor. It can turn the motor on and off, but cannot change the speed of the motor in order to produce the effects described.
      • by AO (62151)
        Umm...the first thing I checked was the date of the article...sure enough, it's dated 04.01.07 (look right under the headline). I guess I won't be using my last mod point :)
      • by dewie (685736)
        Really? You think this bizarre and hugely implausible story might be an April Fools joke? On this day of all days? On this website? At this latitude? Entirely localised within the Hardware topic?

  • by aussie_a (778472) on Saturday March 31, 2007 @10:31PM (#18563127) Journal

    To me, this service is childish and, well, kind of stupid.

    Thus making it a raging success with teenagers and Americans.
    • by bogjobber (880402)

      I don't know what country you're from, but on the chance you are Canadian, European, or from down under, I offer this bit of evidence [wikipedia.org].

      You now can refrain from any and all attempts to ridicule Americans, lest you recoil in horror at the reminder that your country sent a dancing, irritating, anthropomorphic frog singing a mashup of the Beverly Hills Cop theme, a cheesy eurotrash dance beat, and some guy making moped sounds to the top of the charts. Shame on you all.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by aussie_a (778472)
        It must be hard trying to work out what nationality I am. If only I had it in my name or something.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    no comment
  • So now I am going to pay for technology that enables my phone to stab me in the back? No thanks. Seems to me these people habe way too much time on their hands!

    Maybe somebody should load their phones with a little explosive and have some FUN! That would be truely innovative! Oh, wait, the Israelis already did that....
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by evil agent (918566)
      sigh, can somebody get this guy a cell phone immediately? Oh, and let me know what the number is.
      • by xs650 (741277)
        Do you think he would notice....even if it were real?

        Well written article, I was a few paragraphs in before I realized what day it was.
    • by DeadChobi (740395)
      Speak for yourself. I, for one, welcome our new cell phone motor overlords!
    • by Khaed (544779)
      If you're not kidding and playing around, I have some coastal land in Indiana for a real good price...
    • by PPH (736903)

      So now I am going to pay for technology that enables my phone to stab me in the back?

      That enhancement was actually available March 15th. Go to www.et2.com for more info.

  • by echostorm (865318) on Saturday March 31, 2007 @10:33PM (#18563153)
    I'm willing to bet this is the beginning of a VERY long day.
    • by Sancho (17056) on Saturday March 31, 2007 @10:46PM (#18563263) Homepage
      The editors clearly think that it is funny. That's kinda sad. My April 1st is always "Day Without Slashdot Day" brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department. Guess I should have stopped earlier on the 31st.
      • by Dunbal (464142)
        the Department of Redundancy Department

              Funny I always thought of it as the ADRDA - American Department of Redundancy Department of America.
      • by mstahl (701501)
        I'm so sorry that you missed the ponies then. . . .
      • by suv4x4 (956391)
        The editors clearly think that it is funny. That's kinda sad. My April 1st is always "Day Without Slashdot Day" brought to you by the Department of Redundancy Department.

        You know, how about taking the next step and making your year "year without slashdot year". Making a decent news site today isn't that hard. If Slashdot's editor aren't mature enough to handle such a basic, maybe we should try to make it on our own.

        I got the domain and I'm halfway through coding it :P /not mentioning the name as it'll look
      • by 4D6963 (933028)

        Weirdly enough I saw this article in Firehose on Friday (the 30th).

    • Be glad it's on a Sunday when weekend postings are low.

      April fools 2007? PWNED!
  • Bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Wuhao (471511) * on Saturday March 31, 2007 @10:33PM (#18563157)
    You know how I know it's an April Fools post? Because if it were real, cell phone companies would charge you $10 a month to opt out of it. They'd call it something like "TotalRingControl(TM)" and initially they'd let people send these messages for free to annoy the shit out of every right-thinking businessperson who 1) depends on their phone, and 2) has the $10 to burn. Then, 3 months later, they'd switch it to $2 a telepunch without telling you, and charge another $.50 just to receive one.
    • Don't forget that it would also be completely integrated with Windows but utterly incompatible with Linux, OS X, or even WinXP.
    • by musiholic (94408)
      Careful, the cell companies might sue you for violating their business patents on how to screw customers...
      • by Wuhao (471511) *
        I believe the title is "Method and Apparatus for Increasing Customer Value by Redefining Value As Something No-one Hithertofore Would Consider Valuable," and Microsoft paid a kingly sum to license it under the name "Genuine Advantage."
    • Ontday ivegay emthey ideashey!
    • by arodland (127775)
      Wuhao is obviously working for the Penguin Mafia with ideas like these!
  • Ah, yes. A phone that rabbit-punches you. Very droll. The humor makes me roll on the floor, laughing.
  • Wow, if you click through the article and get to the last page (click the "check out the site and service here link") you can click on John Kerry's face 4 times and it will activate the mouse vibrator. You must have Haptic 1.2 for it to work though.
    Awesome technology.
    • by bendodge (998616)

      Most people don't know that there's a motor in virtually every mouse ever made. They were put in there for future haptic-response initiatives from Microsoft and its third-party application partners, but have yet to be put to good use--until now. I sent you a message.

      I'd call that a tip-off. There are no motors in my mice; I've taken them apart before. Also, the writers thumbnail pic [ziffdavisinternet.com] has Ulanoff with black eyes and missing a tooth!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 31, 2007 @10:46PM (#18563265)
    FTFA: To me, this service is childish and, well, kind of stupid

    People lately have been abuzz about license-plate social-networking services on the highways, where you dial up a number, enter their plate and get connected to their listed cell number. A childish, stupid and ill-thought out concept. 1 wrong...This article describes is a service which can knock the phone out of someones hand using the motor in the phone itself...an annoying, childish and stupid idea (but mildly amusing). 2 wrongs...

    So what if the person you are behind on the highway is yakking away in the fast-lane going 10mph under the speed limit...can't you use the License Plate service to send the SMS message to knock the phone out of their hand and...

    OOPS! You dropped your cell-phone in your latte!

    2 wrongs can make a right
  • Becoming rich and famous after inventing a device that allows you to punch people in the face over the Internet!
    • by RedElf (249078)
      Congratulations, you were successfully chosen as the first test candidate for our new invention, the Internet Idiot Face Smash Master 3000 (TM)! Testing will commence immediately!
  • by ocelotbob (173602) <(ocelot) (at) (ocelotbob.org)> on Saturday March 31, 2007 @10:58PM (#18563381) Homepage
    Yeah, version one of this technology sucks. But just wait until version two comes out and brings a whole new meaning to the term phone sex. (Yes, I know what day this is ;3)
    • what happens if someonehack's the bluetooth and punchs the lass's teeth out with it?
      Haxing Teledildonic Horror Stores!
  • > "To me, this service is childish and, well, kind of stupid.'"

    Well, YouTube was childish and kind of stupid, and then it was worth $1.6 billion.

  • the aprilfools tag (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Devil's BSD (562630) on Saturday March 31, 2007 @11:01PM (#18563403) Homepage
    I really think this tag should be removed for today. It really takes the fun out of things...
    • by songbo (614466)
      Agreed totally. I was fooled for a while, until I saw the tag. But it's an intriguing idea. Imagine giving your friend a punch until he picks up the phone...
  • It still being March in my timezone, I had to get most of the way through the first page of TFA to catch this.
    • by Dunbal (464142)
      I had to get most of the way through the first page of TFA to catch this.

            Nope. I'm not falling for it Charles. There's no way in hell you read TFA...

            Heh, he thinks he can catch me out that easily... I'll show HIM April Fools...
  • by Urgo (28400) on Saturday March 31, 2007 @11:05PM (#18563443) Homepage
    For a 'full' list of April Fools Web Site Jokes today check out: http://aprilfools.urgo.org/2007.html [urgo.org]

    52 sites linked up so far and growing.
  • The phone bill itself packs a pretty good punch that often surpasses anything physical.
  • by shadowspar (59136) on Saturday March 31, 2007 @11:23PM (#18563577) Homepage

    Larry Wall once said:

    The social dynamics of the net are a direct consequence of the fact that nobody has yet developed a Remote Strangulation Protocol.

    I'm glad to know that somebody is now hard at work trying to remedy that deficiency.

    • by RedElf (249078)
      Shh! They haven't discovered that feature in the spacecraft they stole from us in Roswell, back in '47.
  • Sure, mod me off-topic, but in the spirit of slashdot april fools, you all have to check out www.thinkgeek.com , they have a pretty good page up. Hell, they just started shipping iPhones!
  • Someone disable tagging!

    April fools is no fun is everyone sees the damn aprilfools tag!
  • Whoever thought of this idea is an idiot. This will never work to any degree.
  • Instead, TouchBak chose Ripal Uno LLC for its Mo-Tac service.

    Ripal => April
    Uno => One
    Very cute.
  • Your free clue is on page 2. The company "Ripal Uno".

  • This tech would be a dream come true if you could get telemarketers to use it.

    NO! NO I am not interested in saveing money on my car insurance. WHAP!

  • Won't someone PLEASE think of the ponies!!!1!!
  • One step closer to the device that stabs people over the internet :)
  • This was posted on the 31st...should have waited that extra half hour.
    • by Trejkaz (615352)
      The previous article did it too. People are jumping the gun this year. Just goes to show that April Fools' Day really runs for 48 hours.
  • Now, if I can only get the wireless extention cord I will be set. :-)
  • The ability to send an electrical shock to the author of any Slashdot comment by modding the post down as Troll or Flamebait.
  • by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki.cox@net> on Sunday April 01, 2007 @04:51AM (#18565281)
    this from the Naomi Campbell department?
  • I bet... (Score:2, Funny)

    by StarfishOne (756076)
    There are people on this world who would love to see this... to spice up their phone sex!
  • The last part makes me think April Fool's, but it might be nice to be able to have a passerby use their phone to send a zap during/after a robbery...
  • apparently, yahoo must have thought this was real...they posted the article three days early: http://news.yahoo.com/s/zd/20070330/tc_zd/204277 [yahoo.com]
  • by PPH (736903) on Sunday April 01, 2007 @07:14PM (#18569541)
    ... Naomi Campbell and Rusell Crowe.

The bigger the theory the better.