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The Grid Sense touchpad is the main control device for the VAIO Pocket music player, and serves as the interface for selecting tracks and navigating between functions. The designers sought to articulate a new input interface design that was distinctly different from a mouse, remote control, or touch panel in order to create a user interface uniquely suited to handheld mobile equipment.
On the right of the VAIO Pocket LCD screen are 25 sense pad buttons in a 5-by-5 vertical/horizontal row array. These buttons correspond with the list/key array displayed on the LCD screen. Sliding a finger across this pad moves the cursor on the display to focus on and select items. Because screen and finger movement are linked, the user can intuitively operate the device by touching the position of the function he/she wishes to use. When the finger is withdrawn, unnecessary control buttons disappear.
Makoto Niijima, Jun Rekimoto, Carsten Schwesig