Cellphones Will Soon Have Different Vibrations

December 23, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
1. vibration (n.) [vahy-brey-shuhn] – a shaking motion
Example: Earthquakes are caused by vibrations in the ground.

2. jolt (n.) [johlt] – a sudden movement
Example: The car made a jolt as the engine was started.
3. subtle (adj.) [suht-l] – something not obvious or hard to detect
Example: She prefers perfumes with a subtle scent.

4. edge (n.)  [ej] – an advantage over others
Example: His ability to speak good English was his edge in getting the job.  

5. divulge (v.) [dih-vuhlj, dahy-]– to reveal (information)
Example:  One should take care not to divulge important phone numbers, key codes or passwords to people on the Internet.

Read the text below.

Immersion, a company based in California, has developed a unique hardware technology for cell phones that may soon be used on other electronic devices. The hardware makes phones produce not only different kinds of vibrations, but also taps and rolling movements.

Immersion’s Vice President Dennis Sheehan explains that its design uses piezoelectric, a type of ceramic that produces an electric jolt when applied with pressure. Unlike the mechanism in Apple’s iPhone, Samsung’s Galaxy phone and Nokia phones, this one allows a wide variety of vibrations—from subtle to strong ones.

With varying kinds of vibration, a phone user can set a specific vibration for each contact or scroll through the menu by simply tapping the touchscreen without having to look at it.

Adding unique features such as vibration modes gives mobile devices more edge than other qualities such as design, processing speed or phone memory. These qualities, Sheehan explains, tend to be the same among different devices.

Smartphone developers are already preparing to use the new technology. However, Sheehan chose not to divulge which company will be the first to use it.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
Discussion A

·         Do you think the vibration feature is necessary on cell phones? Explain your answer.
·         How do you think different vibration features help users?

Discussion B

·         Do you think people can live without cell phones? Why or why not?
·         Do you think other cell phone features (games, GPS, wi-fi, etc.) are necessary? Explain your answer.  

December 23, 2011