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Hands-On: Motorola’s haptic ROKR E8

Sections: Cellphones, CES, Communications, Features, Trade Shows

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Motorola's haptic ROKR E8“You have to try out the Motorola ROKR E8″ says Gadgetell Executive Adam Berger – which means in his code: “get you butt over to Moto’s booth and get some info.” So I acquiesce to his demands and bebop over to the jam-packed Moto booth and start playing with this music phone.

This phone appears to be your average joe music/basic phone…right up until you touch the keypad. If you close your eyes -and I did- it feels like you are depressing a button. But it is a touch screen surface. What you are feeling are tiny location specific vibrations. It truly is remarkable. At first, I kept holding the phone up to see if the screen was giving or what kind of trickery was involved; it was that good feeling. I found nothing but the marketing guy smirking at me. But it gets better.

Those sensations are put all over the phone, so when you change the phone over to a music player, the keypad is remapped and that haptic button feel is right where it needs to be. So anywhere on the keypad the Moto engineers put a virtual button, it felt like a real button.

I’ll make the prediction we see this make it to a Q9 successor in very short order. It is too good a technology not to. With just that move, a touchscreen Moto 9 with haptic feel and perhaps a tweak of the Windows Mobile UI ala HTC (or perhaps Windows Mobile TS for touch screen) there would be a quasi-passable alternative to that other phone. When asked about this kind of possibility, the Motorola spokesperson giggled and said we work on lots of different things.

Product page: [Motorola]

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