34733_iOS_9_Force_Touch_Graphic_FP_WideIn March The Wall Street Journal reported that Force Touch of boolean variety (as seen in the Apple Watch) would be coming to the iPhone, likely via the ninth generation model, which launches later this year.  WSJ columnist Lorraine Luk reported:

Apple Inc. plans to add sensors to detect how hard a user is pressing on a screen to its next iPhones, incorporating a technology used in its forthcoming MacBook and Apple Watch, according to people familiar with the matter… The touch technology is one of the changes that Apple plans for the next versions of its iPhones due for release later this year, these people said.

The WSJ report gave a hypothetical example that the technology might allow for greater accurate in electrical piano apps.

The fresh report published this week by 9to5Mac asserts that Force Touch is still on the docket for the upcoming iOS 9 OS/firmware/core apps release, with hardware support to be added via the ninth generation iPhone.  The report reveals some potential ways the technology will be applied to the core apps in iOS writing:

Force Touch will be integrated into Maps to drop new pins, into media players for pressure-sensitive scrolling, into the Calendar for adding new events, and across the system for quickly looking up word definitions, according to sources who have used Force Touch on prototype versions of the “iPhone 6S.”

Much like proximity sensing, boolean flexible Force Touch may offer a novel, if a bit gimmicky extension to the traditional smartphone multitouch equation.  We should see an Apple Watch-like electrode version of Force Touch in the ninth generation iPhone, plus potentially in a rumored sixth generation refresh of the iPod Touch line that’s been overdue for some time now.

That said, it does not appear that Apple will be ready to deploy a far more impressive future technology — variable force detection.  That’s a far more daunting challenge.  Consider that Wacom Comp., Ltd. (TYO:6727) et. al. house the pressure sensing mechanical sensor inside the pen.

And the MacBook version relies on electromagnetic strain gauges mounted to the trackpad to give a natural clicking type motion.  A smartphone would likely have to use something different and more complex as it doesn’t naturally have a click-style motion.

A possible solution being consider by Apple, Samsung, and others is likely a more highly flexible display layer paired with a more sensitive grid of electrodes capable of detecting multiple levels of touch pressure.  We’ll have to wait — perhaps half a decade or more, likely — to see that level of sensor sophistication be achieved in the mobile space, though.  For now technologies like Samsung’s proximity sensing and Apple’s boolean mobile Force Touch are the next best “dumbed down” way to go a bit beyond traditional multitouch. – See more at: http://www.dailytech.com/Report+Ninth+Generation+iPhones+Get+Force+Touch/article37366.htm#sthash.VGHXaA9B.dpuf

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taco-bellTaco Bell, the chain behind such oddball junk food mash-ups as the Quesarito and the Dorito-shelled taco, is now on the world’s unlikeliest health kick.

The Mexican-style fast food joint announced Tuesday that it will swear off of artificial colors, chemical ingredients and added trans-fats across most of its menu, making it the latest chain to jump on a growing bandwagon of fast food giants trading chemical-loaded foods for fresher fare in a bid to lure a more health-conscious crowd.

For Taco Bell, that means that its nacho cheese, avocado ranch dip and red tortilla chips will lose the dyes that brighten their colors. Real black pepper will replace “black pepper flavor” in the seasoned ground beef, and high fructose corn syrup and “unsustainable” palm oil will also get the boot.

The same will go for Pizza Hut, another Yum! Brands-owned chain, which says it will do away with artificial flavors and ingredients by the end of July. Taco Bell plans to make the changes by the end of 2015.

The new standards won’t affect the entire Taco Bell menu, however. Items that are co-branded such as soft drinks, the many Doritos products and this novel Cap’n Crunch cereal-donut hole hybrid will be exempt from the new rules.

The move comes as Yum! Brands’ stable and other legacy fast food chains flounder against a growing tide of fast casual upstarts like Chipotle and Panera Bread, which are increasingly winning over millennials with offerings that pair a fresh and artisanal feel with quick service and relatively cheap prices.

This segment of health-conscious consumers, Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol said in a statement, is telling Taco Bell that “less is más when it comes to ingredients” — a play on the “Live Más” slogan that the brand rolled out to appeal to adventure-seeking young people.

Taco Bell is just the latest in a long line of restaurant chains to hop on the freshness trend. Panera has vowed to rid its menu of artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives by the end of next year, and Chipotle made waves when it said no to GMOs last month. McDonald’s and Subway have also tweaked their menus to dial back the amount of chemical additives they use.

Aaron Allen, a restaurant industry consultant and analyst, said to expect more fast food chains to try to change their stripes as the millennial-dominated public increasingly demands fresher foods that they don’t feel ashamed of eating.

“We’re finally hitting the tipping point in the food industry when it comes to healthier and fresher ingredients,” Allen said. “I think they saw this as an opportunity to get out in front of these changes before they are absolutely forced to…They are scrambling to get on it in such a way that it creates a positive public perception for them.”

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iron-man-gs6Samsung’s Iron Man-branded Galaxy S6 Edge arrives tomorrow, with a custom paint job, 64GB of on-board storage and a limited edition wireless charger accessory with an appropriate arc reactor graphic included on top. It ships with a clear cover, too, so you can protect your precious “armor” when ticketing around in the real world.

The box it comes in is also red any gold, and there’s a big ol’ Iron Man helmet stencil graphic on the back of the device, too, as well as a software theme to match. I probably would’ve left off the face personally, letting the colors speak for themselves, but this was a partnership with Marvel with the intent of promoting the new Avengers film oversees, so they probably could’ve been a lot less tasteful with the branding overall.

The sad news for those of you who were hoping to advertise their Stark fandom on their phones is that availability is listed as only Korea as of tomorrow, with sales beginning in China and Hong Kong in late June. There’s no U.S. date even mentioned, so you might have to plan a trip or watch the secondary market if you’re hoping to get this particular device finish. For now, you can at least watch Samsung unbox its own device in the video above.

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