HTC “Book” UI coming to a smartphone near you?

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by Mike
Posted October 30th, 2009 at 12:01 pm

Companies get ideas, services, and products patented everyday. If it’s an idea, they may never even implement or use it in any current or future products. They’re protecting themselves. Because of this, we can’t take every patent we see literally or as if it is “set in stone” but instead more as “suggestions” as what could be coming in the future.

With touchscreen’s the new “it” feature on dumbphones, featurephones, and smartphones alike, distinguishing yourself from the playing field that’s becoming increasingly saturated gets harder and more challenging with each device release. In fact, it’s even to the point now that if your device doesn’t have a unique or highly tweaked UI — barring any earth shattering hardware — your device will go unnoticed and under appreciated. HTC never standing still and always looking forward has something that might just stand out from the rest…

UI’s from varoius manufacturers currently flood the market. We all know most if not all of them so I’ll skip past that and get to the real deal. HTC has long been on the leading edge of skinning mobile operating systems. This first became apparent when they made Windows Mobile 6 actually look somewhat bearable with Touch Flo. Things have come quite a long ways since then and this new patent for a “book like” UI paves the way for great things to come. Per HTC:

organizes applications, widgets, and web pages into pages of a virtual book. Each page of the virtual book is the UI of a service or function of the handheld electronic device. Flipping the pages of the virtual book means browsing and selecting the services and functions provided by the handheld electronic device. This book-like UI enables the user to use and manage these applications, widgets, and web pages in an easy and intuitive way like browsing a conventional printed book. The book-like UI hides the differences among applications, widgets, and web pages so that the handheld electronic device can be accessed through a uniform and convenient UI.

This book UI concept is certainly unique. I hope they build on this and continue development as while I’m initially highly intrigued because of it’s “new” nature, I’m not 100% *wow* about it. I have a feeling it will grow. Also, the whole page look, if they so choose to depict actual book pages seems a bit gimmicky, maybe outdated as this is a digital device and software. Why would I want to mimic ancient tech/a book? Minor hesitations aside, I’m left wanting to know and see more.

Do you think HTC will sometime soon release the “Touch Book” UI?

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