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Communications Portables (Games) Toys Hardware Technology

New Japanese Mobile Phones Detect Motion 67

Posted by Zonk
from the virtual-/wave dept.
GreenTea writes "Some of the latest mobile phones in Japan come with motion sensors that let users detect motion or play action games like those on the Nintendo Wii console. The D904i from NTT DoCoMo, Japan's top mobile carrier, contains a tiny motion sensor that detects shaking and tilting, company spokesman Nobuyuki Hatanaka said. 'The software supports three main types of motion: shake, rock and roll. Shake can be used for actions such as rolling dice and shuffling MP3 decks. Rock interprets right, left, up and down gestures to generate traditional cursor-style user input commands. Roll offers joystick control by responding to tilting motions used in navigating games, maps or Web pages.'"
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New Japanese Mobile Phones Detect Motion

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  • Usually I just shake it to hear the parts rattle inside after I've thrown it across the room. It will only be a matter of time before we have concussions thanks to the wii-esque gaming that will be happening.
    • One of the first uses of accelerometers in mobile devices was in the Itsy back in the 1990s www.hpl.hp.com/techreports/Compaq-DEC/WRL-2000-3.p df

      This device used the rock and scroll interface to flick between menu items, pan, zoom etc.

      • I recall an experimental phone using accelerometers to input data. Draw a number or initials in the air instead of dialing. Perfect way to look like a loonie.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Motion sensing cellphones been out for about two years now. Why is this news?
    • Because the solution's still searching for a problem. Coming up after the break, we ask an expert why Elvis is showing no signs of recovery.
      • Because the solution's still searching for a problem.

        While it may be a solution searching for a problem, I think there was a definite itch [ign.com] that needed scratching. :-)

    • Why is this news?


      Because the Wii has made motion sensing "Fun (tm) (r) (c)" !!!

      I, for one, welcome our latest busyness buzzword.
    • agreed.. the beta version was definitely out over two years ago in korea not sure when they released it though
  • by Sloan47 (977340) on Friday April 27, 2007 @11:08PM (#18909155)
    Its about time! The wii limited us to throwing the remote into the TV. Now the playing field is much more open!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The Samsung SPH-A940 I got in November 2005 has this under "motion fun". The novelty doesn't last very long.
    • My SPH-A960 I just got a couple months ago has that as well. It's amusing to play with for a couple minutes, but there isn't any software on there that really requires it.
  • To Big Joe Turner [wikipedia.org]. If only it detected Shake, Rattle and Roll...
  • If they're going to bundle action games with these phones there had better be a roll cage accessory. Also a good way to sell more phones. Drop and shatter one, need another.
  • by ptbarnett (159784) on Friday April 27, 2007 @11:37PM (#18909303)
    Maybe they can program the phone to detect when the user is driving a vehicle and disable the phone.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by AngryBacon (1094489)
      Good idea, but if it used the motion sensors, wouldn't it disable itself if you were a passenger?
    • And what if you have a car accident and need that phone but it's disabled it's self for a while?

      phones disabling themselves is a bad idea, even if the intent is good.
    • Safety has many aspects.

      "Help 911! a pick up with two men is chasing my car, bumping into it, they seem high on something! I'm on acacia avenue corner wi..."

      (Beep) "Car motion detected. Please stop your car to continue the conversation".

      Maybe 911 calls could bypass the accelerometer though.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by timeOday (582209)
      I've seen studies claiming that cellphone users are as bad as drunk drivers. How could that be? There should have been a massive increase (or any increase) in traffic fatalities, yet there was not [nih.gov]. Sure, there are counter trends such as airbags, but the claim that a huge percentage of people are effectively drunk driving, gives the strong impression there should be mayhem out there. Drivers do love to complain about each other, but again, look at the data I linked. I just don't see it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by guruevi (827432)
        Maybe there is another reason for it. As I see in your graph, the rates have been dropping while drunk driving seems to have gone up (the morality of people has gone down, new types of drugs, new type of parties, people mixing drugs and alcohol and a more expanded use of it).

        Maybe drunk driving is not the main culprit of traffic fatalities. Of course, you tend to hear more about accidents with drunk people involved than other fatal accidents and that's just the media where it's not as interesting to report
      • by drsquare (530038)
        Those stats are for just fatalities. Most car accidents don't end in death. There are many near missed caused by mobile phones that wouldn't have happened otherwise, maybe you don't think this is a bad thing.

        And people can drive safely when drunk, experienced drunk drivers are especially slow and careful so they don't get stopped.
  • by rh2600 (530311) on Saturday April 28, 2007 @12:00AM (#18909387) Homepage
    My Vodafone/SoftBank v603sh had this over a year ago, and it was a 1 yen phone! Motion Sensor for Golf and some Sega FPS, Microphone for Singstar Clone, Analog TV/FM with flip screen for widescreen, 2MP camera with Optical Zoom...ahhh loved that little phone.. pity I moved back to NZ ;) You could even record off TV to the SD card on the phone - it supported EPG over data so it had Tivo-esque functionality! http://mb.softbank.jp/mb/product/2G/model/v_603sh/ [softbank.jp]
  • The Nokia 5500 already has this capability. It has a 3-axis accelerometer in it.
    • by hughk (248126)
      It has been out for a while. There is supposed to be some snowboard/skiing logging software for it too.
  • ..regular old cell phones that could be used to make calls, text, and maybe take the occasional photo? Cell phones are becoming so over bloated with features that 90% of users don't use, or may not even know how to use. They simply buy it because they have to have the 'best' phone on the block. All these features also create more distractions for when people are trying to drive and use their phone. Granted, I replaced my old VI660 with an A900, the only feature I don't really use is bluetooth. Other than t
    • by Asmandeus (640419)

      I replaced my old VI660 with an A900, the only feature I don't really use is bluetooth. Other than that, I actually use it for photos, to play mp3s while working out, and what phones are supposed to be used for.
      Are those "bloated features" treating you well, Mr.TenPercent?
      • by KTorak (860467)
        I don't use the bluetooth is because my desktop doesn't have a card for it, I don't own a head set (I don't see the point), and I don't know anyone else with a bluetooth phone to transfer files with.
    • by fred911 (83970)
      "regular old cell phones that could be used to make calls, text, and maybe take the occasional photo"

      Wow! All I wanted in my 1st cell phone was to make calls:-)
    • by fbjon (692006)

      regular old cell phones that could be used to make calls, text, and maybe take the occasional photo [...] bluetooth [...] play mp3s while working out [...]
      Interesting how the definition of "regular old cellphone" has evolved. Besides, there's a cool new-ish feature in a small technical package, and someone is complaining on slashdot? Is this luddite central? Is anyone in need of geek license revocation?
  • Old news. My sharp V603SH, which I bought about 1 year ago does that. You can use it to play games such as golf with a virtual golf club, it has a step-counter for jogging. Oh, not only motion detector, it has an internal COMPASS too.
  • "Some of the latest mobile phones in Japan come with motion sensors that let users detect motion or play action games like those on the Nintendo Wii console."

    That misconstrued this to think the phone would let you set it up and only record video when there's "motion". That wouldn't be too bad if you ask me. Little extra doo dad to record the babysitter or some other random recordable thing.
  • Rock interprets right, left, up and down gestures to generate traditional cursor-style user input commands. Roll offers joystick control by responding to tilting motions used in navigating games, maps or Web pages.

    Just imagine what it could look like to scroll through an up down menu using motion sensing in a phone.

    • by fbjon (692006)
      Imagine lots of people casually sitting in a crowded subway car, phones in their lap, scrolling up-down, up-down, up-down...
  • Looks like the OpenMoko [openmoko.org] phone, the Neo1973 [openmoko.org] (its name reflects the fact that it hopes to be the rebirth of mobile technology, which started with the first cell phone in 1973), is slated to include an accelerometer [openmoko.org] in its next release, due out in June 2007. This looks like a very cool project - I know I'm planning to invest in one of the next version of the hardware platform... Dave
  • That's Earth Quake, surely the Japanese would find motion detection more useful for that. There would even be a market for them in California
  • This is a bad hack (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    This stuff is complete crud. If the editors did any work (yeah that's you Zonk) then they would have linked to some actual information on the technology. Have a looky here:

    http://www.gesturetekmobile.com/inside.html [gesturetekmobile.com]

    They use the camera in your phone to detect motion. The same idea as an optical mouse. The problem with this is the camera uses a hell of a lot of power while taking photos normally. - From 0.5 to 2Watts peak according to EETimes : http://www.eetimes.com/showArticle.jhtml;jsessioni d=0?articleID= [eetimes.com]
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by phred75 (884612)
      Actually, this isn't some flakey hack by any means. I'm a coder at this company and currently working in our mobile division. The technology has been perfected and runs efficiently (and even more so once I'm done optimizing key functions in ARM assembler). We have done quite a bit of testing and even in situations where there is lots of motion in the scene, the software is able to compensate quite nicely! We actually use the lowest resolution of the camera so power consumption is minimized. Sure acceleromet
  • It would be nice if this could be used with bluetooth as a wireless gyroscopic mouse [gizmodo.com] for presentations. Maybe throw in a laser pointer as well. Given that these cellphones already have all the hardware to do that, and Windows already has the software to handle bluetooth mice (doesn't it?), it would beat having to walk over to the laptop for every slide, or say 'slide' to cue an assistant, or use a different unfamiliar remote at each site.

    Come to think of it, it would be nice even without the gyroscopes,

  • the screen!

    You tilt/swing the wiimote, the TV won't follow you.

    For mobile phone screen though will follow your action.
    Everyone who has tried Wario on Gameboy would probably agree that it's a challenge to follow the screen while you set the Gameboy in motion...
  • Had this been around a while longer, there might well have have been mitigating circumstances when a certain supermodel paid a visit to the court after throwing her phone at her maid ...perhaps her lawyer forgot to tell the court she was a beta tester.
  • My Nokia 5500 Sport [nokia.fr] has it, and it's pretty nice but playing while looking at the screen you're moving isn't that easy.
  • The software supports three main types of motion: shake, rock and roll.

    ...it was supposed to be "shake, RATTLE and roll"...
  • That's great! You could actively monitor delta attitude and velocity vectors of the caller on the other telephone, for example...
  • The software supports three main types of motion: shake, rock and roll.

    Now if they can just integrate sex and drugs into it, I'm totally getting one!

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