This new tech gives any smartphone better 3D Touch than the iPhone 6S

Force Phone

Force Touch launched on the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus last year and although some Android manufacturers have also tried the technology – like Huawei with the Mate S – it's still a feature mostly reserved for the top rung of iPhones.

But now a way to bring similar technology to any smartphone has been found. Researchers at the University of Michigan have found a way to add pressure-sensitivity functionality using ultrasonic waves.

It means you can apply extra pressure to the screen, but it's not exclusive to the display – if you squeeze the body of the phone that will also be picked up.

The speaker on the phone pushes out an ultrasound covering the 18-24 kHz range – the human ear can't pick this up, although your dog may react – and the microphone will detect changes in the sound.

The phone can then sense how much pressure is being applied and where, and work out what you'd like the phone to do.

Easy squeezy

Yu-Chih Tung, one of the creators of Force Phone, said: "I think we're offering a natural interface, like how you turn a knob.

"It's the next step forward from a basic touch interface, and it can complement other gestured communication channels and voice."

One of Force Phone's creators refers to the tech as extra vocabulary between you and your phone.

Exactly what functionality the technology can enable isn't clear yet – but you may, for example, be able to open your messaging app by squeezing the phone hard around the edges.

Force Phone means a brand new technology won't be exclusive to high-end and expensive smartphones – and the functionality could be opened up to those with cheaper Androids.

Don't expect it to be available just yet though. The research is set to be presented to a conference at the end of June, and there's no word of a commercial release date.

Via TechCrunch

James Peckham

James is the Editor-in-Chief at Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.