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ForcePhone

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Published on May 26, 2016

What if you could control your phone by squeezing it? Thanks to University of Michigan computer engineers, that’s a scenario you might one day experience. ForcePhone is software that allows any smartphone user to control their device with force and pressure. The technology works by borrowing two of a phone’s fundamental attributes – its microphone and speaker. The software sets the speaker to emit an inaudible tone at a frequency higher than 18 kHz, which is outside the range of human hearing. But the phone’s mic can still pick up the vibration caused by the sound. When a user presses on the screen or squeezes the phone’s body, that force changes the tone. The phone’s microphone can detect that, and the software translates any tone tweaks into commands.

ABOUT THE PROFESSOR

Yu-Chih Tung is a computer science PhD candidate at University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, advised by Prof. Kang G. Shin, the Kevin and Nancy O'Connor Professor of Computer Science and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. His research interest is building mobile applications or security systems based on physical-layer signal processing. Yu-Chih received a master of science degree . from National Taiwan University in 2012. His current work has been published at top-ranked conferences such as ACM MobiCom or ACM CCS and is in the process of being commercialized.

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