Touch-Sensitive iPhone Case Changes Gameplay
Canopy Sensus case reroutes touch controls from the front of your device to the back of the case.
CREDIT: Melissa J. Perenson
While the wraparound iPhone screen is still a rumor, an upcoming case called Canopy wraps the touch sensors — adding them to the back and left edge to enable new game control.
The sensors detect where your finger is on the back of the case. Instead of having your finger on the top of the screen, blocking the action, you control everything from the underside of your phone, keeping the screen free and clear. The edge sensors can act as a slider mechanism, or as two buttons, to enable extra actions.
"Spirit" — the video game demoed at last week's Game Developers' Conference 2013 — is currently available in iTunes with regular touch-screen controls. But the Canopy-enabled version lets you play the game by navigating with the back of the case. Canopy said it took the developer about a day to make a version that works with the case.
With so many sensors on the case, one challenge may lie in figuring out how to hold the case properly. Canopy said the way users will hold the case will vary based on the app they're using and how the app makes use of the sensors.
The first Canopy case will ship for iPhone 5 in August or September of this year for about $100. Canopy said it will ship iPad, iPad mini, and iPod touch variants later in 2013 (likely just the newer versions with the smaller Lightning connector). The company is also considering making an Android case, but it said that may take a while, in large part because of the difficulties in making highly specialized cases for different models and operating systems.