News / Calgary

University of Calgary developers push for ‘Fat Thumb’ phone integration

Walking down the street early last year with a bag of groceries in one hand and his phone in the other, Sebastian Boring said looking up a map was nearly impossible.

Boring, along with of five other researchers from the University of Calgary decided to play around with adapting the iPhone platform to allow zooming in and out with just the thumb.

“We created the map personal on our phones to test it and test it with users,” said Boring. “We worked almost half a year on it.”

The technology, known as Fat Thumb was tested with 40 participants and Boring and his colleagues wrote a research paper, which they’ll present this fall at the Mobile HCI (Human Computer Interaction) conference.

Boring said they’ve made their paper available online for people to make the adaptations to their phones, but are hoping that smart phone providers pick up on the technology.

“I think the general opinion (from users) is to say to Apple please add it, they want to have it,” he said.

“I’m still hoping Apple puts it into IOS 6 when it comes out this year.”

The Fat Thumb research paper can be found here.

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