LAS VEGAS, CES 2013 – The Canopy Sensus case puts a multi-touch surface on the back and the right edge of the iPhone. It recognizes all of your fingers at once, and in my brief time trying it out, it works great. But who the hell is going to buy it?
When Apple added gyroscope and compass to the iPhone, a slew of apps appeared to use them, from games to lame augmented reality apps. That’s because these hardware additions have 100% penetration for new hardware. Compare that to things like the Sensus case, or the [insert brand here] pressure-sensitive stylus, which will never be in the hands of enough users to make developing apps for them worthwhile.
It’s a shame, as the Sensus is pretty great. It tracks your fingers as well as the iPhone’s screen, and the fact that you can’t see where you’re touching doesn’t matter – your brain doesn’t seem to care.
The rear also has a pattern (more subtle than my photo suggests) that lets you orient your fingers through touch.
Gaming is the obvious use, but what about text-editing (highlighting; cursor movement) on the back while you type letters on the screen? Or using the side surface to scroll (yeah, that one’s a stretch – -the on-screen scroll does fine). Or fine control over photo-editing without obscuring the screen.
We’ll see. Like I said – the device is great. But it will rely completely on software from other folks to make it. And should you want one, it should be out in the Summer for under $100.