Consumers love their smartphones and it doesn’t matter the flavour; be it Windows Phone, BlackBerry, iOS or Android, we love those little guys. Sometimes it’s difficult to draw the line between if we control them or if they control us, but there’s a definite symbiotic relationship between human and smartphone. They depend on us for battery power and for us to pay the bills and we depend on them for, well, almost everything in our lives. There’s no sign that this relationship is going to break down any time soon although some people are working hard on reducing their reliance on their smartphone just as another group are working hard on bringing smartphones to a wider audience: those of us unable to move. Today, I bring you news of a device that may be controlled completely through head movements and voice commands: the Seasame.
Readers may be forgiven for thinking that the Seasame looks remarkably like the Google Nexus 5, because that’s exactly what the handset is: it has the same 5.0-inch, 1080p screen, the same 2.3 GHz quad core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with 2 GB of RAM. Seasame describe it as “modified,” but this appears to be the software on the device rather than the hardware. The special sauce that’s applied to the Nexus 5 is all in the software, which uses the microphone and front facing camera and that’s how you control the device. It seems the simplest thing in the world, right? The Seasame concept is designed by two very well qualified Israelis: one has experience of gesture controls and the other is a quadriplegic. And what makes the Seasame different from most similar projects is that the team have thrown away the convention: this isn’t a smartphone in name only, with the ability to send the odd text message and a ring a select number of people. This is a full blown new way to control the device and almost everything that can be done using your fingers, may be done using the Seasame interface. This means anything from calling, texting, opening and using applications and social networks, to playing Angry Birds. This is great stuff!
It gets even better: Seasame is an Indiegogo campaign and at the time of writing, has raised $11,000 out of a target of £30,000. Anybody pledging $350 now should receive a device in March. The developers are highly responsive and the software is very customizable: it can be adjusted so that people who may only move their heads slightly can still benefit from the phone. And whilst the project currently only includes the Nexus 5, Seasame are planning to add support for additional devices in the future. Oh and did I mention how you turn on the device? You say, “open seasame,” which I must say… is cool.