New software turns any dumbphone into a touch screen smartphone

Do you fancy a sleek new smartphone, but you're still working off the contract on that old dumbphone you got last year? A technology called acoustic fingerprinting might be just the ticket to make your low-tech phone seem just a bit less dumb.

Created by a British company called Input Dynamics, the TouchDevice software uses the phone's microphone to listen to the sounds of someone touching the phone, and can determine exactly where they touched it from that spot's unique acoustic signature.

The makers claim that this can make the entire phone, not just the screen, work as an input device, responding to taps, touches, and swipes just like an iPhone. The software will be customized to fit the acoustic patterns of each type of phone it's used on, and will be sensitive enough to respond to different types of users.

No word on when you'll see this showing up in phones, but inventor Giovanni Bisutti says he is in talks with "tier-one handset manufacturers, the big ones" about licensing the software.

New Scientist, via

For the latest tech stories, follow us on Twitter at @dvice