And we’re off, with the first Apple-related news of CES 2013 being a rather interesting case for the iPhone 4/4S and 5. Canopy claims that the point of their Sensus case is to provide users and developers with a way to control the device without obstructing the screen. This feature could potentially be particularly useful in games such as first-person shooters that rely on multiple touch controls.
The Verge was able to have a hands-on trial a prototype that is supposedly representative of the final, shipping product:
It was able to sense multiple finger presses at the same time, and the touch feel was similar to many non-glass laptop touch pads, as the case features a lightly textured finish. Canopy has developed a number of test apps to demonstrate the Sensus’ capabilities, including a shooting game controlled entirely by the case’s back and side panels.
The concept likely comes from older Android devices, which incorporated a touchpad on the back of the device for scrolling or other actions, or Sony’s PlayStation Vita, which also uses touch panels for controls in some games. Since this obviously isn’t a first-party accessory from Apple, support for the case will be up to individual developers to implement. That alone will likely keep this a niche product, unless Canopy can gain widespread developer adoption.
The Sensus will cost $100 when it ships this summer, and will support the iPhone 4, 4S, and 5. Canopy told The Verge that versions for the iPod touch G4 and G5 will be coming soon, and that there is even an iPad version in the works.
iFans’ own Joe Rossignol will be providing live CES 2013 coverage when it officially begins on January 8th, so be sure to stay tuned!