Stantum’s high precision multitouch

touch

We love keeping track of new interaction technologies and this new touchscreen by Stantum looks especially promising. Engadget shot a hands-on video with it at the Mobile World Conference. It’s a resistive screen, so it can be used with both fingers and styluses (unlike capacitive screens). It’s sensitive enough that you could use a brush too. The screen supports any number of multitouch points and does pressure sensing based on the size of the detected fingertip. The touch detection is actually more accurate than the screen can display. Stantum is hoping mobile manufactures will pick up their input framework for inclusion in new devices. The resistive touchscreen was built to Stantum’s specifications (it won’t work with current phones), but they say it wouldn’t be hard to go into mass production.

Cell phone triggered fireworks

remote_trigger

[Mr. Hasselhoff] is using a disposable cell phone to trigger his fireworks. He has wired into the speaker leads for the speaker phone. When the phone rings, the current sets off a thyristor allowing for a battery pack to be discharged into a rocket fuse. These fuses heat up and ignite, so you can use them to light fireworks fuses pretty easily. This is pretty simple and cheap, considering the price of the cell phone was only $10. His next idea was to have it recognize dial tones and set individual fuses off, but that would require a microcontroller and a much more complex hack. At that point, you might as well just build a fully fledged wireless fireworks launching system and possibly add rocket launching abilities too.

[thanks Adam]

iPhone 3G unlock released

As promised, the iphone-dev team has released yellowsn0w. You can install/uninstall via Cydia. It works fine with the latest firmware too. This sentence is filler.

Hackit: What did you get?

adp1

It’s the season of gift giving. Did you get anything interesting/hackable? What will you work on next?

We gave ourselves an Android Dev Phone 1 (ADP1). We hadn’t really considered getting a G1 until the ADP1 was announced… It’s actually a lot of fun to use as our primary phone. Our favorite app so far is connectbot, the SSH client. The interface is really smart, way better than all of the iPhone clients.

What did you get?

T-Mobile G1 teardown

g1teardown

In our Dev Phone 1 excitement last week, we somehow overlooked phoneWreck’s teardown of the T-Mobile G1. The complex slider mechanism is certainly worth looking out. One of the major oddities they point out is the inclusion of two vibration motors. One is mounted next to the SIM on the mainboard. While the other is mounted in the frame next to the earpiece. We wonder what was gained/solved by using two. The phone also includes a digital compass module. We’d like a more detailed explanation of how the Xilinx CPLD is used. From this article in 2006, it seems HTC uses them to generate custom clock signals and switching off devices for power management.

Inside Nokia’s hardware damage labs

Like everybody, we sometimes get a little frustrated with our cellphones. Probably one of the most annoying things is when we drop our phones once and they stop working. At Nokia’s hardware damage labs in San Diego, they physically test their phones for extreme uses. They test things like flip tension, water resistance, and even UV resistance. Recently, the folks over at MobileCrunch were given a tour of these labs and were nice enough to post an in-depth article about what they saw. In addition to the impact testing video above, there are many more videos posted that demonstrate the tests they perform.

iphone-dev team 3G soft unlock coming soon

The iphone-dev team has officially stated “all that remains is implementation“. They’ve developed all the pieces they need to perform a software unlock for the iPhone 3G, now it’s just a matter of putting them together in user friendly fashion. They’ve managed to run unsigned code on the baseband, developed custom AT tools, and are now showing injection of a background task. They will combine all of these techniques to override the carrier lock baseband code. As usual, they warn against performing any official firmware updates to the phone.