KDDI R&D Laboratories Inc developed the "Chokkan (Intuitive) Controller," software that can detect the movements of a mobile phone in real time by using images taken by a camera without an acceleration sensor.
The software runs on a mobile phone software platform, "BREW," which was adopted by KDDI Corp.
The Chokkan Controller detects the movements of a user by analyzing the images inputted from a phonecam. Therefore, application developers can design mobile phones that are intuitively operated by the movements of users, without the need to provide special components such as acceleration sensors or six-axis sensors.
The software can determine user's movements such as panning, tilting, zooming and rotating. The laboratory improved the accuracy of movement detection to the point that the sensor can reportedly be used on a practical level.
As some of the application examples of the Chokkan Controller, the laboratory cited an image list viewer and a character input UI. If the controller is applied to an image list viewer, the user can scroll the images just by tilting the mobile phone to right or left when viewing a large number of images.
The scroll speed can also be controlled by the user's movement. Specifically, the user would tilt the phone slowly when scrolling only one image, while tilting it more quickly to scroll at a higher speed.
When applied to a character input UI, the Chokkan Controller functions as a software keyboard. When the user pushes one of the numeric keys, which correspond to the consonants in the Japanese syllabary, five characters that include the selected consonant and a vowel are indicated on the mobile phone screen.
When the user selects the desired character by tilting the mobile phone vertically or horizontally while holding down the key, the controller inputs the selected letter.
In addition, the Chokkan Controller can be used as application software to control the directions and the coordinates of a view point in a 3D virtual space, and software to examine 3D models from different directions, the laboratory said.
The lab is planning to unveil the software at CEATEC JAPAN 2008, which runs from Sept 30 to Oct 4, 2008, at Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture, Japan.