A couple of days ago a new Windows Phone by the name of McLaren and now we've learned it could feature Kinect-like motion controls.
Sources familiar with Microsoft plans say Nokia has been working on the technology for a few years. Now McLaren is said to be the first device to feature an array of proximity and motion sensors all over the device.
The 3D Touch system will purportedly allow users to interact with their games and applications without touching the screen. It could be a useful feature that makes up for the limitations of touchscreen such as dealing with wet hands or gloves that get in the way during colder months.
As an even more intuitive use case, the same sources say users will be able to answer a call by bringing up the phone to their ear. Additionally placing the device on a table could activate the speakerphone and slipping the smartphone into a pocket could end the call.
Bringing life to plastic
Aside from dismissing alerts by waving your hand at the phone, the device's body itself could become an interactive surface similar to the touchscreen.
The Microsoft insider sources posit that users will be able to slide their finger along the side of the phone to zoom in the smartphone camera.
Taken to a farther stretch this feature could allow Microsoft to remove buttons such as those for power and the homescreen. In the future users may never have to reach for that power button to wake their device when it simply turns on after being gripped.
Tap the air
3D Touch could fundamentally change the way Windows Phone devices work and as a result the UI is said to get a fresh overhaul.
A new MixView interface originally spotted by WP Central suggested live tiles could be triggered with 3D Touch by hovering over live tiles and then tapping down. Selected these tiles reveal yet another group of smaller, associated items.
For example selecting the Facebook Tile would pop smaller icons for messaging phone, allowing users to contact their friends quickly.
When is it coming?
While these all look like promising features, its unknown how soon 3D Touch will be first implemented.
The Verge claims Microsoft originally planned to debut its new touch features with Windows Phone 8.1 and a Nokia handset codenamed "Goldfinger." However it seems the Goldfinger has been pushed back for an upcoming update and 3D Touch will be a large component of McLaren.
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