Bezels are a necessary part of screens, although in some cases they actually detract from the overall design as they can be too thick. Over the years we’ve seen bezels shrink to the point where it’s almost invisible, but at the same time what this means is that manufacturers are looking on the ability to use bezels as a means of interaction.
Apple has tried to be smart about this by introducing a technology into their newer iPads where it will allow the user to grip the screen by the edge but not have it interact with tablet. This will save users from accidentally presses due to the bezels being thin. However Nokia has something else in mind, thanks to a recent patent which hints at interactive bezels.
According to the patent, “A force component of the touch input may be detected and compared to a predetermined force threshold. In cases in which the force component of the touch input exceeds the predetermined force threshold, user interaction with the content at that location may be enabled. In this way, the force exerted by the user in applying a touch input in the bezel area may be considered an indication of the user’s intent to interact with corresponding content within the bezel, and such interactions may be provided for accordingly.”
Now this interactive bezel will apparently not be activated all the time and will be enabled depending on what the device might be used for. For example it could be used to display playback controls when the device is held sideways, or a camera shutter button, volume adjustments, and so on.
Of course is it unclear if Nokia will ever put this patent into use in future devices like smartphones or tablets, but what do you guys think? Anyone interested in a smartphone or tablet with interactive bezels?