Well, it was only a matter of time. According to recent reports, Samsung will be adding a new feature to its smartphones when it launches its latest flagship devices. That feature? Pressure sensitive touch, AKA 3D Touch.
The new feature will reportedly allow users to view and interact in news ways with their phone based on how hard they press on the smartphone’s display.
According to insider sources for the Wall Street Journal, Samsung will announce the introduction of the new feature at Mobile World Congress in February, and will plan on a March rollout. The phones will also reportedly feature fast-charging systems and retina scanners for security.
Of course, it is important to mention that it is possible that Samsung came up with the idea independently of Apple, but it’s certainly suspicious that the announcement will come not even one year after Apple announced 3D Touch, especially when Samsung has followed Apple’s lead before.
Since the early days of the smartphone, Samsung and Apple have gone head to head in court over several patent infringement accusations. Recently, Samsung asked the Supreme Court to toss out a verdict that was in Apple’s favor, arguing that “If the current legal precedent stands, it could diminish innovation, stifle competition, pave the way for design patent troll litigation and negatively impact the economy and consumers.”
It’s also important to mention that there is no official word yet on whether or not Samsung will implement pressure sensitive controls, and reports so far have been from unnamed sources and based on speculation. If, however, Samsung does go ahead with the rollout, expect to see plenty of complaints about how Samsung copied Apple, as well as perhaps even a lawsuit. Samsung, however, will argue that it was simply following the natural progression of the mobile interface.
Perhaps, however, the fact that Samsung is aiming to implement the new technology isn’t such a bad thing. Apple is in the process of changing how we interact with our phones through 3D Touch, and it would be more surprising if other companies didn’t take notice of the great new tech.
3D Touch itself basically allows users to input different commands based on how hard they press down on their display. This is most often used right now in things like home screen icons, where users can access quick controls. For example, press down on the Facebook home screen icon and you can quickly post a status update or picture.
Apple has provided developers with the APIs needed to implement 3D Touch into their apps, and plenty of third party app developers have begun doing just that.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 will be the most likely candidate for the new technology, however Samsung will not stop at implementing new tech there. It is also probable that the phone will include the new USB Type-C connector, a USB standard that is both smaller, faster, and easier to use than other USB standards.
In fact, according to reports, using USB-C, the Galaxy S7’s battery can be charged from completely empty to 100 percent in only 30 minutes, something that should help those that often run out of battery juice. In fact, maybe Apple should take a page out of Samsung’s book in that regard, considering the fact that Apple users have long complained about battery-related issues on the iPhone.
As mentioned, Samsung is also exploring the possibility of including a retina scanner on the Galaxy S7, something that will bolster the phone’s security on top of the fingerprint scanner that it will already have.
Earlier in the month, Samsung announced a change in leadership for its mobile division, putting Dongjin Koh in charge of the division, replacing J.K. Shin. While the plans for the Galaxy S7 are likely already set in stone, the change in leadership will likely be reflected in the smartphones released by Samsung over the next few years.
It’s not yet known exactly what we should expect from the shakeup, but it will certainly be interesting to see how Samsung’s smartphone business changes. The news comes as Samsung’s smartphone business has seen somewhat of a slump over the past two years or so. While the company enjoyed massive success with devices like the Galaxy S2, S3, and S4, it hasn’t seen as much success since then.