Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

Multitouch Display
Apple has had problems with the plastic screens on its iPods, which tend to show scratches, but the iPhone’s screen is made of optical-quality glass. That’s all the more critical because the screen is the interface. Instead of buttons or a keyboard, the iPhone uses a combination of new software and a unique multi­touch screen manufactured by the German company Balda. Users tap “soft” buttons directly on the screen and zoom in or out of images or Web pages with two-­fingered gestures (zoom out is a pinch, zoom in is a spread). This new control scheme abandons the WiMP (window, icon, menu, pointer) system that has dominated graphical interfaces on computers for decades.

Accelerometers
Like Nintendo’s Wii game console (see Hack, July/August 2007), the iPhone uses miniaturized accelerometers that measure its movement. These sensors detect whether the user is holding the iPhone in its “portrait” or “landscape” orientation; the operating system rotates the display accordingly.

3 comments. Share your thoughts »

Tagged: Communications

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me