After the successful release of the Sony Xperia S (the first Sony only branded handset), Sony introduced another Sony only branded Xperia handset. This is the Sony Xperia Sola. This is also the first Xperia handset which is pre-installed with a cool new feature called the floating touch technology. Well talk more about the said feature later but first allow me to describe to you what this phone is all about.
This handset ships with a 3.7″ capacitive touch screen. This will also allow your finger to register anything of up to 20mm away and above the phone’s display. This is one cool feature alright. The sad news is this amazing feature is limited to the phone’s built-in browser and live wall papers.
When it comes to hardware, this phone ships with 1GHz dual-core processor and Mali 400 GPU and packed with 512MB worth of RAM. You will also enjoy 8GB worth of internal storage. With its microSD card slot, you can add more storage space for all of your files.
The phone ships with 5MP camera and can shoot videos at 720p. It comes with 1320 mAh embedded battery and it features NFC too. The phone ships with Android Gingerbread for its OS but you will be able to upgrade it to Android’s latest Iteration the Ice Cream Sandwich second or third quarter of this year.
Now, let’s move on to the phone’s latest and innovative feature the “floating touch”. As mentioned earlier, this technology will allow you to control things without touching the phone’s screen. All you have to do is to hover your finger up to 20mm above the phone’s screen and you will be able to control this handset.
Sony’s research Engineer Erik Hellman and one of the inventors of this new technology explained this in a detailed blog. But let me summarize it for you. The said Floating Touch technology combined existing capacitive touch screen implementations. You need conductivity in order for a capacitive touch screen to function right. However, there are two types of display which differs in the signal strength that it receives.
There are self capacitive displays that boast powerful signals. This then can detect a human’s finger from 22mm but they have limitations as well. They also do not support multitouch.
There is also the multi capacitive touch screens which work with multitouch. However, in order for them to narrow down an exact position they have to reduce the signal strength in order for them to register a hovering finger.
This is where Sony decided to bring the two together in their floating touch display. Sony explained that by levering the existing capacitive touch sensor and by lowering threshold for their touch registration, it is possible to differentiate the floating touch and conventional touch. The only drawback is, the floating touch is limited to the phone’s browser and live wallpapers only. But then again, Sony promises to open up APIs for their developers to upgrade this Gingerbread device to Ice Cream Sandwich.
These are the features of Sony Xperia Sola and its floating touch explained.