Samsung Launches Mobile Phone That Uses Immersion's VibeTonz® System to Supply Tactile Feedback for Touchscreen Presses
China Unicom Introduces New Samsung SCH-W559, the First Phone to Use VibeTonz Tactile Feedback in Touchscreen Operation
SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan 17, 2007 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Immersion Corporation (Nasdaq:IMMR), a leading developer and licensor of touch feedback technology, announced today the new Samsung SCH-W559, the first touchscreen-based mobile phone in the world to use Immersion's VibeTonz® System to provide tactile feedback (http://www.immersion.com/industrial/touchscreen/) for touchscreen interactions.
The SCH-W559 uses a large 260,000-color QVGA LCD touchscreen display to replace the traditional mechanical keypad as the primary input mechanism. Users receive confirming tactile cues when they press graphical onscreen controls, and they can customize the response by selecting one of five feedback profiles for these cues.
Immersion's VibeTonz System allows touchscreen-displayed buttons to feel more like mechanical keys. VibeTonz tactile feedback can also help improve usability in situations where controls are obscured by fingers or washed out by glare.
"We believe that market conditions are almost ripe for an explosion in touchscreen phones, and that by 2012 as many as 40% of mobile phones could be using some form of touch sensitive technology," said Stuart Robinson, director of the Handset Component Technologies service at global research and consulting firm Strategy Analytics. "The integration of any technology that improves ease of use will be important for market adoption, and Immersion's VibeTonz technology certainly fits that description."
The new phone is being sold by China Unicom, the third largest mobile operator in the world with 135 million subscribers. Designed to roam globally by working on both CDMA and GSM networks, the SCH-W559 includes handwriting recognition, Bluetooth technology, 1.3 megapixel camera, and audio and video playback functions. VibeTonz capabilities in the phone also provide full-fidelity vibration tracks synchronized with eight preloaded ringtones. Vibe-enhanced ringtones enable personalization and add an element of fun to phone use and can help identify callers in noisy environments.
"Implementing keypad functions in a touchscreen has allowed Samsung to give its customers a first-class multimedia and messaging experience in a remarkably light and slim handset," said Hunbae Kim, Samsung vice president. "As the first to integrate VibeTonz technology for touchscreens, we're giving users the reassuring sense of interacting with a real keypad, supplying gentle touch feedback that unmistakably confirms each of their actions. As far as advanced mobile interfaces go, it offers the best of both worlds."
"Our VibeTonz System can provide mobile device manufacturers with an inexpensive enhancement to touchscreen operation," explains Immersion CEO Vic Viegas. "It also provides a platform for a wide range of additional features that can add fun, engagement, and improved usability to mobile devices."
Since the first VibeTonz-enhanced phone was introduced in April 2005, VibeTonz applications for mobile devices have multiplied. VibeTonz tactile feedback for mobile device touchscreens, announced in June 2006, is only the latest application. Mobile games are more fun and exciting with touch feedback similar to that found in console games. Tactile cues for user interface features, like call dropped, key press, and ringing and busy signals can make phone operation easier and more intuitive. VibeTonz effects accompanying ringtones or music are like turning up the subwoofers. And VibeTonz alerts that can vary from a reverberating gong effect to a subtle tapping can be more discernible and memorable. An enabling platform, the VibeTonz System opens possibilities for a fuller, more multisensory user experience -- for example, for a loved one's message to arrive feeling like a beating heart or for a movie trailer to draw you into the exciting motorcycle chase by letting you feel engine acceleration.
About the VibeTonz System (www.vibetonz.com)
The field-proven VibeTonz System, comprised of VibeTonz Mobile Player and VibeTonz SDK, delivers a broad range of touch feedback effects to make user interface features, applications, and downloadable, multimedia content more intuitive and engaging. Embedded in mobile devices, VibeTonz Mobile Player exerts precise, high-speed control over the vibration actuator to produce tactile effects with unprecedented subtlety and dynamics. VibeTonz SDK provides cross-platform APIs and a suite of authoring tools for making development and customization of touch feedback effects fast and easy.
About Immersion (www.immersion.com)
Founded in 1993, Immersion Corporation is a recognized leader in developing, licensing, and marketing digital touch technology and products. Using Immersion's advanced touch feedback technology (http://www.immersion.com/corporate/products/), electronic user interfaces can be made more productive, compelling, entertaining, or safer. Immersion's technology is deployed across automotive, entertainment, industrial controls, medical training, mobility, and three-dimensional simulation markets. Immersion's patent portfolio includes over 600 issued or pending patents in the U.S. and other countries.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties, as well as assumptions that, if they never materialize or prove incorrect, could cause the results of Immersion Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
All statements, other than the statements of historical fact, are statements that may be deemed forward-looking statements, including any projections of earnings, revenues, or other financial matters; any statements of the plans, strategies, and objectives of management for future operations; any statements concerning the breadth of and timeline to implement touch feedback technology into handset models or touchscreens or into games or other content; release of VibeTonz-enabled handsets; any statements regarding consumer response that may occur as a result of having touch feedback in handsets or content or consumer and market acceptance of touch feedback products in general; proposed products or services; any statements regarding future economic conditions or performance; statements of belief; and any statement or assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Immersion's actual results might differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements due to risks and uncertainties associated with our business which include, but are not limited to, delay in or failure to achieve commercial demand for our products or a delay in or failure to achieve the acceptance of force feedback as a critical user experience.
For a more detailed discussion of these factors, and other factors that could cause actual results to vary materially, interested parties should review the risk factors listed in our most current Form 10-Q, which is on file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements in this press release reflect our beliefs and predictions as of the date of this release. We disclaim any obligation to update these forward-looking statements as a result of financial, business, or any other developments occurring after the date of this release.
Immersion, the Immersion logo, and VibeTonz are trademarks of Immersion Corporation in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
SOURCE: Immersion Corporation
Alexandra Skillman, +1 650-762-2842
Copyright Business Wire 2007
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