Inventive user interface, but…

The new Else phone (formerly called Emblaze) has a inventive user interface. Designed to be used primarily by your right thumb, to select an action you click once, slide, then release — rather than clicking multiple times. You can see a video demonstration here.

Besides the obvious question of “but what if you’re left-handed?” though, I see tendonitis in the future of every Else user. A few years ago I used a special keyboard designed to save my wrists from RSI (repetitive stress injury). It did indeed help my wrists, but in return it wrecked my thumbs — the new keyboard required sliding my thumbs over to press the ENTER and SPACEBAR keys.

The iPhone’s many competitors are certainly knocking on the door, but the Else seems to come with built-in drawbacks.

Some of my current favorite iPhone apps

Here are some of my current favorite iPhone apps:

  • Bump. Exchange contact information with someone else simply by bumping your two iPhones together. Free
  • Camera Genius. Zoom, repeat timer, burst mode, timestamp, “big button” to ease taking your own picture. $2
  • FastFinga. Scribble notes with your finger, save the result or email it to yourself. Great for people with sore thumbs or other keyboard-related RSD. $1
  • iTranslate. Translate a word between any of several dozen foreign languages. Free
  • Louvre. Overview of the most famous museum in the world. Free
  • Pocket Universe. Hold the iPhone up to any part of the sky and PocketUniverse will show you what you’re looking at, including sun, moon and planets. $3
  • Stanza. Nice e-book reader, can download fee-based and free content. Free
  • Terra. Similacrum of the earth from any given vantage point. Show direction of Sun, distance between two points. Move date backwards & forwards. $5