PORTLAND, Ore. — If you have a smartphone, you know the frustration: You want it to wake up from a blank screen right into whatever app you want to run, but instead you have to push a button, enter a security code, then find the icon for your app, and finally you can startup the app by tapping it.
Now an innovative touch control integrated circuit from Seoul-based Dongbu HiTek Co. Ltd. can bypass all that hassle by making a single user-defined gesture on the blank screen -- say, a circle for email -- and the smartphone comes right up in the appropriate app.
And that does more than streamline access.
"Through our firmware, any touch gesture can be recognized. The firmware also supports several gestures to perform more complex activities," Jae Song, executive vice president of marketing, told EE Times.
According to Song, there is no limit to the number of screen-off gestures that can be recognized; the smartphone manufacturer just makes sure there is enough firmware to hold them all. It's even possible to have multiple gestures to activate the same app -- perhaps the default gesture defined by the smartphone maker and the custom one designed by the user.
"Smartphone makers can request Dongbu to link specific gestures to apps," says Song, "or they can link the apps with gestures by themselves. Also, consumers can make their own gestures for each app. The detailed methods can be discussed with smartphone manufacturers and Dongbu during the development process."
Smartphone manufactures can also have unlock codes recognized by unique user-defined gestures, or they can just let the unique gestures automatically unlock and idle the smartphone.
"Smartphone makers can decide how they handle the unlock codes. For example, if they want to make the smartphone recognize the gesture without having to unlock the phone, the touch gesture can directly activate the app."
The touch controller also handles all the ordinary touch screen functions and is covered by intellectual property patents that will prevent other touch controller makers from copying the innovations.
"Our patent covers touch gestures, which are able to operate the apps. Dongbu has applied for a patent worldwide. Copying is not possible," says Song.
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