The future of phones: no buttons?

Synaptics is working on concept phone, called Onyx, that does away with buttons.

If there were no buttons on your cell phone, imagine how big the screen could be.

Synaptics is doing just that with its Onyx phone, a new concept in cell phone technology. Shaped like a remote, it's a bar-style phone that would integrate GPS, music, teleconferencing and calendar events.

Onyx
The Onyx concept phone Synaptics

But the coolest part is the screen, which takes up nearly the whole handset. Synaptics calls it ClearPad, a thin, high-resolution touch screen based on the company's proprietary sensing technology. With it, there would be no need for buttons to input information. Information can be entered into the Onyx concept phone with two fingers, or via text entry.

Unfortunately, no company is planning on releasing this phone anytime soon, but the Onyx is out there and could be an indicator of what's to come in the design of mobile handsets.

About the author

Erica Ogg is a CNET News reporter who covers Apple, HP, Dell, and other PC makers, as well as the consumer electronics industry. She's also one of the hosts of CNET News' Daily Podcast. In her non-work life, she's a history geek, a loyal Dodgers fan, and a mac-and-cheese connoisseur.

 

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