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Low-cost 3D Joystick for Mobile Phones

KDDI, a Japanese telecommunications company, introduced a low-cost 3D joystick for mobile phones at CEATEC 2009 held in Makuhari Messe Japan.

The 3D joystick is consists of software on the phone and a piece of hardware, resembling a spring, mounted over a handset’s camera. The spring attaches to the phone’s camera with a magnet and can be easily attached and removed. The company showed two different types of spring units, one that looked homemade and another one that was slightly more polished.

Underneath the top of the spring are two squares, one red and one blue, in which the camera focuses on. The software tracks these squares as users move the spring side to side, up and down and in and out, allowing control on X, Y and Z axes. For example, if a user pushes down on the spring, the software could interpret that as a mouse click or it could zoom in on a photo or a map. The unit can also be rotated to control the rotation of a picture, for example.

The said 3D joystick may also be made available internationally but at KDDI Japan first.

All this and more at pcworld.

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