Apple recently installed several large, interactive display tables at two of its flagship U.S. stores, offering a wider audience of customers an opportunity to experience the new 3D Touch capabilities of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus handsets.
Each of the iPhone units embedded within the display show an animated background that reacts to a customer’s tapping and pressing on the screen. When 3D Touch senses one of these taps or presses, a ripple effect on iPhone’s screen will protrude outward from a user’s finger and onto the larger display table. The hardware, itself, does not appear to have touchscreen functionality built in. However, it seems to rely on input from certain types of custom iPhone mounts, which are scattered methodically about the display.
The iPhone demo tables are regulated in-store by no fewer than two employees at any given time, who are responsible for demonstrating the 3D Touch functionality and assisting customers with experiencing the feature for themselves.
In addition, as you might imagine, these employees are equipped with microfiber cloths to help keep things clean, seeing as how the area can get rather messy with a thousand and one different fingers poking around each day.
Apple staff have indicated that only two of these tables exist, nationwide, one of which are located in New York and San Francisco, respectively. At this time, it’s not known whether Apple intends to roll out additional units at other Apple Store locations, or whether they intend to make the tables permanent fixtures or extend the concept to other product lines down the road — like MacBooks with ForceTouch, for example.
3D Touch was introduced as a pinnacle feature of the iPhone 6s line, which was unveiled in September. Implementing the technology requires a substantial deviation from, and internal changes within the screen panel as compared to last year’s iPhone 6. A newly designed pressure-sensitive layer of film is added during the iPhone’s assembly, in addition to a new flexible cover glass material over Apple’s own haptic feedback engine.
Perhaps understandably, the Cupertino tech-giant is focusing heavily on the 3D Touch functionality in this year’s iPhone marketing campaign, primarily by portraying the technology as a completely new method of user interaction. The latest television commercial aired just recently, and shows off the “Peek and Pop” features built-in to some of Apple’s own and some third-party applications on the device.