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New Japanese Mobile Phones Detect Motion

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the virtual-/wave dept.

Communications 67

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 KC Mobile Phones Detect Micks (-1, Troll)

Keith Curtis (923118) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909025)

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Re:New KC Mobile Phones Detect Micks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18909773)

It's kind of sad when a troll is more interesting than the FA. Keep up the good work /. editors!

Gundam (0)

deathtopaulw (1032050) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909061)

First game is You are Gundam [digitalworldtokyo.com] I love gundam, but it's quite a lol

My GOD ! That IS NEWS That MATTERS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18909301)

My GOD ! That IS NEWS That MATTERS. How could I ever get along without Slash dot !!

Re:My GOD ! That IS NEWS That MATTERS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18909467)

be gone, evil agent of digg! there is no room for your filth here!

Cool, a new reason to shake my phone (1)

therufus (677843) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909063)

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.

Rock & scroll interface (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909287)

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.

Re:Rock & scroll interface (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909871)

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.

Not new (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18909065)

Motion sensing cellphones been out for about two years now. Why is this news?

Re:Not new (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 7 years ago | (#18910141)

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.

Re:Not new (1)

electr01nik (598106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18914097)

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. :-)

Not new, but... (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 7 years ago | (#18911625)

Why is this news?


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

I, for one, welcome our latest busyness buzzword.

Re:Not new (1)

hansaiaiyo (1092199) | more than 7 years ago | (#18913293)

agreed.. the beta version was definitely out over two years ago in korea not sure when they released it though

My Samsung MP3 Player has been doing this since 05 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18909071)

Not sure what the huge deal is. My Samsung YP-T8 MP3 player has this feature. Sort of useless, but kinda fun. More about this MP3 player from Engadget: http://www.engadget.com/2005/05/10/samsung-yp-t8-p ics-and-specs/ [engadget.com]

Jesus (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18909125)

"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."

Who writes this shit? Did the writer actually spend two seconds imagining a player swinging the cell phone like a tennis racket or golf club? And the player is watching the tiny screen that most phones have, while he is swinging it?

Put down the crack pipe and repeat after me: this motion sensing phone will NOT play games like those on the Nintendo Wii. It may allow you to play Q-Bert or some other outdated game, but is nowhere close to the innovation offered by the Wii controller.

Re:Mary & Joseph (3, Funny)

alienmole (15522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909357)

Who writes this shit? Did the writer actually spend two seconds imagining a player swinging the cell phone like a tennis racket or golf club?
No, but I'm guessing you did, and now you're working through the disillusionment. Hang in there bro, you'll be able to swing your cellphone once they perfect the cellphone-mounted motion-stabilized holographic projector!

Its about time! (5, Funny)

Sloan47 (977340) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909155)

Its about time! The wii limited us to throwing the remote into the TV. Now the playing field is much more open!

Re:Its about time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18909585)

It's only a matter of time before someone uses one of these phones to play a game on a commuter ferry, where the game-induced gyrations cause the owner's grip to loosen, causing the phone to drop and skitter across the deck, under the guard rail, and right off the ship into the deep blue sea.

Probably shouldn't use these features by the pool, either. Based on what happens all the time with phones and pagers, this could even be a hazard to the phone if you use it while you're on the john...

Re:Its about time! (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909891)

Absolutely. We'll have a new sport on our hands, of which we already have a long-established champion. [theage.com.au]

Re:Its about time! (1)

Xman73x (1032330) | more than 7 years ago | (#18928053)

Japan and Europe are 10 years ahead of us with technology anyway! I wish America would catch up! But we are so worried about other things.But I do know if we were caught up to Europe and Japan we wouldn't have so sky high prices on HDTV's etc.And Parents with this kind of Technology could easliy track there everyday teen/kids movement kinda freaky.

Welcome to 2005 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18909157)

The Samsung SPH-A940 I got in November 2005 has this under "motion fun". The novelty doesn't last very long.

Re:Welcome to 2005 (1)

spiderbitendeath (577712) | more than 7 years ago | (#18911923)

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.

Almost a tribute (1)

Centurix (249778) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909165)

To Big Joe Turner [wikipedia.org] . If only it detected Shake, Rattle and Roll...

smart marketing tactic (1)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909271)

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.

It would be a nice safety feature.... (3, Interesting)

ptbarnett (159784) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909303)

Maybe they can program the phone to detect when the user is driving a vehicle and disable the phone.

Re:It would be a nice safety feature.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18909325)

Brilliant! I wish I had mod points.

Re:It would be a nice safety feature.... (2, Insightful)

AngryBacon (1094489) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909367)

Good idea, but if it used the motion sensors, wouldn't it disable itself if you were a passenger?

Re:It would be a nice safety feature.... (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909531)

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.

Re:It would be a nice safety feature.... (5, Funny)

alienmole (15522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909587)

Or what if you're about to crash into the car in front of you and you want to call them to warn them?

Re:It would be a nice safety feature.... (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909853)

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:It would be a nice safety feature.... (0)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909899)

The phone only would be able to sense the initial acceleration (which could be anything), and the bumpiness along the way. The latter is more viable, but I would be worried that a city in an earthquake would suddenly lose all cell phone usage.

Re:It would be a nice safety feature.... (1)

appelsiini (1002972) | more than 7 years ago | (#18910437)

Even better if phone or car would automatically call help in case of accident. This kind of system has been developed in Finland, and EU wide initiative has been proposed. Idea behind the tech is quite simple. Car has mobile phone and/or GPS device attached, and if subjected to high G-forces and/or certain event (say airbag used) car automatically calls 911 (or actually 112 in Europe), and sends GPS location of the vechile. It has been talked, that such system could be mandatory in cars sold in europe like after 2012. This has been due fact, that many road accident fatalities could be prevented, if help could arrive few minutes earlier. Driver in these accidents are usually unable to call for help themselves, and computers are in those cases, better than nothing. I have understood, that US carmakers have their own initiatives and development plans in same area of interest. Hopefully unified standard will be developed at some point, yet I doubt it. In EU it's easy to enfoce things, but FTC more relies on market driven approach than one-for-all-solution. Accelerational sensing can be also used with GPS, like Nokia N95. If contact to satellites are lost, phone have past knowledge of directional vector and speed. When you add sensing acceleration/deacceleration, you may calculate approximation of position without GPS data, or just interpolate to help out weak positioning signal.

Re:It would be a nice safety feature.... (2, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18911271)

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:It would be a nice safety feature.... (0)

slart42 (694765) | more than 7 years ago | (#18911401)

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.
So either cellphone use isn't really as bad as drunk driving, or drunk driving isn't really that bad anyways. Choose one.

Re:It would be a nice safety feature.... (2, Interesting)

guruevi (827432) | more than 7 years ago | (#18912473)

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 that 2 people were just not watching out than a sensational story where one was drunk/drugged.

It's still not safe driving around drunk since in case you have to react fast, you don't which could make the accident more severe. I think it also has to do that if you're drunk and in an accident, due to the alcohol, you might get into shock faster and your body doesn't react as well or reverse to the drugs and medical help applied to you in the initial emergency procedures.

Accidents are usually caused by 2 persons, both might not be watching out as well, the one because he is drunk, the other because he's on the phone or thinking/talking about something else. But if both persons were on the same road, and not drunk, the accident might have happened as well, because both were thinking or not watching out enough, just as severe. It's just easier to blame an accident on the alcohol which is an obvious indicator, just as it's easier to blame disappearing bees on cell phones instead of fungi

I have driven around once while I was drunk. I knew I was drunk and adjusted my driving style accordingly and made it a very short trip because I was scared as hell. On another occasion, I knew I was over the limit but I was not impaired, still, I heightened my senses, turned off the radio etc. to make sure I wasn't missing anything on the road that could cause an accident.

Again, I do not endorse drunk or impaired driving since you'll lose the concentration but saying it is the CAUSE of an accident is silly. Radio's and CD-players are just as good a cause of accidents as drunk driving or cell phones. Should we ban all CD-players now too? A family member of mine was in a severe accident because he was messing around with the CD-player and talking to friends in the car, his crash even appeared in the local paper and tv-newscasts because his car was total-loss but it wasn't blamed on the CD-player, it was blamed on them coming back from a party (and he was the designated driver, so he didn't have any alcohol in him according to the police report).

Re:It would be a nice safety feature.... (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 7 years ago | (#18912827)

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.

Just don't wear one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18909311)

on the night you get married

Motion-sensitive phones are old news in Japan (5, Interesting)

rh2600 (530311) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909387)

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]

Re:Motion-sensitive phones are old news in Japan (1)

lanceblack (969852) | more than 7 years ago | (#18910217)

My old Vodafone had this too, over two years ago by my count. Hardly news. O.o

Nokia 5500 (1)

lakiolen (785856) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909427)

The Nokia 5500 already has this capability. It has a 3-axis accelerometer in it.

Re:Nokia 5500 (1)

hughk (248126) | more than 7 years ago | (#18910053)

It has been out for a while. There is supposed to be some snowboard/skiing logging software for it too.

What ever happened to... (1)

KTorak (860467) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909535)

..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 that, I actually use it for photos, to play mp3s while working out, and what phones are supposed to be used for.

Re:What ever happened to... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18909577)

Whatever happened to posters asking on /. "whatever happened to phones that allowed you to just make calls?"

I don't have a cell phone, but if I did, I would get the Cadillac of cell phones, fully aware of how unnecessary all the features are.

Re:What ever happened to... (1)

Asmandeus (640419) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909679)

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?

Re:What ever happened to... (1)

KTorak (860467) | more than 7 years ago | (#18911127)

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.

Re:What ever happened to... (1)

fred911 (83970) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909695)

"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:-)

Re:What ever happened to... (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 7 years ago | (#18914543)

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.. (1)

id3as (1067224) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909571)

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.

Am I the only one? (1)

nexuspal (720736) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909591)

"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.

How Innovative (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18909705)

FUCK ISLAM

Re:How Innovative (0, Troll)

id3as (1067224) | more than 7 years ago | (#18910045)

It just provokes me to ask "What Islam is? Where does it come from?", and open the Wikipedia article about it.

Hand gestures (1)

DanJ_UK (980165) | more than 7 years ago | (#18909839)

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.

Re:Hand gestures (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 7 years ago | (#18914571)

Imagine lots of people casually sitting in a crowded subway car, phones in their lap, scrolling up-down, up-down, up-down...

Could be abused? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18909893)

Is it just me or does this seem like something that could lead to being abused? Perhaps by big brother? I remember when cell phone companies began touting how they were equipped with GPS, "to help you with navigation and E911." Now these phones can be used to track anyone who carries it and at any time a government agency can peep your location. Perhaps with this addition to the cell phone, agencies will now be able to detect WHAT you (or your phone I guess) is doing.

Next version of Neo1973 to have acceleromer (1)

dlane (21691) | more than 7 years ago | (#18910051)

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

Quake? (1)

Dupple (1016592) | more than 7 years ago | (#18910169)

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 (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18910313)

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=12804124 [eetimes.com]
So using this gesture recognition will run down your battery something crazy.

It also relies on being able to track movements through the camera. So if your hand obscures the camera, or you're not pointing your phone at something steady then this thing will not work at all. Sure even somebody walking in front of you from left to right might cause the gesture recognition to move left.

So, all in all I think this is a terrible terrible hack. If they can get it working then more power to them. But for gods sake, if you want gesture recognition just use an accellerometer. The complaints about high prices are simply because there isn't any massive market yet. When accelerometers start being included in phones, economies of scale will bring the price down.

-Vince

Re:This is a bad hack (3, Informative)

phred75 (884612) | more than 7 years ago | (#18916853)

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 accelerometers are more accurate BUT because they are so expensive, manufacturers are reluctant to use it and we offer a good alternative so long as you have a camera handy on your phone.

As for the technology, we can do quite a lot of cool things with it. As the article stated, we have 3 distinct types of motion we can detect - rock, roll and shake.

Roll can be used for ball rolling games, UI navigation or even as FPS controls. Shake has been used for shuffling an MP3 play list but can be used for rolling dice in an RPG or shooting virtual craps! The rock is perfect for "reloading" a gun or maybe throwing something in game. We had one app which allowed you to launch virtual pies at people. That was a popular one!

One thing is certain... we have done something right for Japan's LARGEST cell phone carrier to have picked us up for use in 2 major game releases using their phones - Crash Bandicoot and Katamari Damashii not to mention our tech has been in used in alot of other games already. We have our camera tracking on many platforms including the PS2, XBOX 360 and PC.

Here is the docomo press release:
http://www.nttdocomo.com/pr/2007/001335.html [nttdocomo.com]

What others are saying:
http://www.tmcnet.com/usubmit/2007/04/25/2553676.h tm [tmcnet.com]
http://www.digitalmediaasia.com/default.asp?Articl eID=23946 [digitalmediaasia.com]

 

I can't imagine.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18910691)

.. how this actually would be useful. With the Wii you're looking at a static display, but if the display was on the remote, I figure it would only be annoying moving it around?

Powerpoint (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18911185)

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, just to be able to use the up/down buttons to advance slides, and maybe the rocker switch to move the mouse.

Tilt...together with (1)

sam0737 (648914) | more than 7 years ago | (#18911887)

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...

Supermodels? (1)

falconcy (1082517) | more than 7 years ago | (#18911905)

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.

Nokia does it already (1)

BESTouff (531293) | more than 7 years ago | (#18912423)

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.

I thought... (1)

vanyel (28049) | more than 7 years ago | (#18912691)

The software supports three main types of motion: shake, rock and roll.

...it was supposed to be "shake, RATTLE and roll"...

Phone (1)

Grindalf (1089511) | more than 7 years ago | (#18919475)

That's great! You could actively monitor delta attitude and velocity vectors of the caller on the other telephone, for example...

more features (1)

fan of lem (1092395) | more than 7 years ago | (#18925661)

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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