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Saturday, 19 July 2014

Pinch To Zoom

Can you enlarge an image on your mobile phone's touchscreen by pinching it?  If pinching is squeezing together two of your fingertips, you certainly cannot.  It will only shrink what has already been made larger. 

When I bought my first touchscreen mobile, I tried to 'pinch zoom' an image.  Nothing happened.  But when I 'unpinched' sliding my fingertips apart, the image zoomed in.  And when I pinched, it returned to the original size.  That made me wonder, why the feature was not named, 'pinch to shrink' or 'spread to zoom', or merely 'pinch-in / pinch-out'? 

Apple was the one to pioneer this technique. Once the patent issues were sorted out, competitors jumped in, turning mobile phone displays into playgrounds, where you could walk, run, slide, and tap with your fingers to engage your phone.  

Plagued by slowdowns and stagnation, the industry is now forcing us to keep our 'fingers crossed', and wait for a new set of gimmicks. Among them are the '3D Air-Touch' (gesturing with fingers), 'Cortana' (personal digital assistant), and Voice user interfaces like  'Siri' and 'Google Now'.  

Wink, whistle, wave...!  Romantic is mobile phone technology, even if it makes us look 'quixotic'! Isn't it?

As Max Frisch, Swiss playwright and novelist said:
   'Technology has the knack of so arranging the world 
that we don't have to experience it.'
                                                - Max Frisch