Yup -- the Taiwanese phone maker has confirmed that it will indeed be planning to launch a squeezable smartphone offering called the U. When you think of the term “squeezable,” images of something rubbery may come to mind, but HTC’s upcoming device is actually more high tech than that. The newest U handset will come with a metal unibody that features embedded sensors that allow the mobile user to change settings and even complete gesture commands by either squeezing the sides or swiping up and down on the device’s flanks, at least according to leaker extraordinaire Evan Blass’ report recently published in VentureBeat this week.
The concept of controlling a smartphone device beyond its display screen is definitely intriguing, never mind a bit unusual. We are so used to interacting with our handset’s front panel that squeezing or swiping on the sides may need some getting used to. HTC is certainly betting that people will eventually catch on. As a matter of fact, the Taiwan based mobile manufacturer has already sent out invitations for an event happening on May 16th of this year in its homeland. The invite could not be more upfront about the whole squeezing thing -- it even comes with the text “Squeeze for the Brilliant U.” To generate some more buzz, HTC has also taken the opportunity to post a tweet containing a teaser video. In the footage, a hand is showing squeezing the edges of a smartphone.
For some time, there have been rumors circulating that HTC was busy developing a new smartphone offering code named “Ocean.” The device is said to come with a 5.5 inch display screen, 4 gigabytes to 6 gigabytes of random access memory (RAM), and 64 gigabytes to 128 gigabytes of built in memory (the storage configuration will vary depending on the specific edition).
Moreover, speculation suggests that the company will take a leaf out of Apple’s book by doing away with the headphone jack for its upcoming high profile smartphone release. Also, the Ocean handset is expected by some to be integrated with HTC’s “Sense Touch” technology, which basically allows mobile users to gain access to menus and even complete specific actions through squeezing and swiping.
Will this upcoming squeezable smartphone turn things around for HTC? It is no secret that the phone maker is going through some hard times recently. Just a few days ago, it had decided to significantly reduce the pricing of its U Ultra smartphone from $749 to $599 (a jaw dropping $150 drop compared to the original price). The company has also opted to give generous discounts to its other phones and mobile accessories.
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