Think of when you’re reading an article on your phone, and you want to send snippets of it to your friend. You have to select the text, copy and paste it, select the social network on which to send it then find your friend. It’s a hassle. But now you can save time with ‘FingerSense’, and do it just by tapping your knuckle.
California based Qeexo is a company spun off from Carnegie Mellon University’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute. In 2012, Sangwon Lee, Julia Schwarz and Chris Harrison founded the company with the goal of improving digital interaction via touch screen. The team name Qeexo came out from CTO, Chris’s memory of traveling the world with his dad. He remembered a Somali word ‘qeex’ which means ‘to analyze’. As they wanted to put adventurous name and still keep the meaning of their research background, they chose the name ‘Qeexo’.
The Qeexo team first developed FingerSense, a patented technology that knows whether you are using your finger tab, knuckle, nail or stylus to touch the screen. FingerSense received $ 2.9M Series A investment from Sierra Ventures and Danhua Capital in Silicon Valley. (It is known to be $2.3M in other articles, but Lee said $2.9M is correct) FuturePlay, TheVentures came in as Angel investors.
We’re living in a multi touch generation, where a device can detect number of your finger touches on the phone. “Next will be ‘Rich touch generation’” CEO of Qeexo, Sangwon Lee said, “where a device can provide tools for you just by identifying what is touching the screen.”
How does your device know what is touching the screen? The secret lies on the sound and vibration that is formed when you touch your phone. For example, tap your table with your fingertip, then with a knuckle. It will make the different sound, accordingly forming different vibration in surface. FingerSense detects vibration and sound that are formed when you touch your phone, analyzing the typing materials.
Since 2007, when Steve Job had introduced “the pinch” feature to zoom-in picture on iPhone, the touch screen area remained rather stagnant without any significant changes. Qeexo aims to innovate this field with FingerSense by reducing user’s effort and time to perform everyday tasks, at the same time making the phone using experience more enjoyable. However, it’s important to note that touch screen technology can survive when it is widely used among the public and becomes a standard technology. A potential competitor could be ‘Pressure Sensor’, which possibly could be applied to the newly coming models of Apple devices according to GforGames. “It is a matter of, which technology becomes the standard in the market.” Lee pointed out.
The team is getting ready for commercialization of FingerSense with mobile phone manufacturers. They will be licensing the technology to the partners, and you’ll be able to meet FingerSense in an Android phone. FingerSense is software only, and can run on today’s mobile devices without the cost and space required for additional hardware.
“Human interaction on a phone is the first impression for users, and also it’s the part where small differences make big changes in the overall experience of a phone. I hope that China could also make improvements in this area to enable users more interactions and engagement on their phones.” Lee said.
Image Credit: Qeexo
Editing by Mike Cormack (@bucketoftongues)