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June 19, 2012

Sharp to Introduce the 'Feel UX' Interface for Android Smartphones

With the majority of smartphones using the Android operating system, manufacturers are looking to offer unique software interfaces that help differentiate their products from the mass. Sharp, the Osaka-based electronics maker plans to go down that road by introducing its new “Feel UX” design that features large icons and many phone functions such as a photo gallery, a camera and music applications that are accessible directly from the lock screen. Unlike competitors, like the Apple iOS that obscures the background photo with time or message information, the Feel UX will allow access to the photo featured on the lock screen.

The Feel UX will have three main screens, once unlocked, that includes the apps, a shortcut to phone features and a widget screen for access calendar, clock etc. The new design will first be phased into the Japanese phone models after which it will explore the possibility of having the design placed into smartphones destined for international markets. The new Feel UX design was built together with Frog Design, a software design firm that is headquartered in San Francisco. The design, which took nine months to develop, will also be included in about seven Aquos-based Smartphones in Japan.

In a statement, the VP of Creative and Software Innovation at Frog, Paul Pugh, said, “By simplifying the interaction model and reducing clutter through a more curated experience, it will be immediately apparent to customers how to use the phones and make them more personal.”

Sharp’s Deputy GM of the Global Product Development Center, Itsuki Kouchi, said that collaboration with Frog helped adopt an advanced approach to help in creating a distinctive device that borrows from Android’s concept, features and philosophy. Kouchi believed that this would “ultimately increase the life of the product and enhance customer satisfaction.”

Sharp is well known for its brand of LCD TVs and suppliers LCD panels to other manufacturers around the world. In Japan, the company has also gained popularity as a major handset maker and offers smartphones based on the Aquos TV brand which it manufactures. Some of its smartphones have also been shipped abroad in limited numbers. 

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Edited by Brooke Neuman

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