06
May
2014-05-06 16_27_36-DIMPLE.IO - Your custom Android NFC buttons! _ Indiegogo

Do you like buttons? The successful Pressy Kickstarter last year made it clear people were really jazzed about getting one configurable button on their phones, but what about four of them that connect via NFC? That's what the Dimple is, and it's currently raking it in on Indiegogo.

The Dimple is a little band-aid deal that sticks to the back of your NFC-enabled Android device. On it are four buttons that you can press to activate various actions. Some of the examples in the video are launching apps, taking pictures, and turning on the LED. You can even add multiple Dimples if you want to play your phone like a bizarre little musical instrument. There will be a Dimple app, but an SDK will allow developers to build more features too.

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Because it's powered by NFC, Dimple is very thin and requires no external power. It will come in a variety of colors so as to better blend in with your device, but it won't work on phones or tablets with metal enclosures — sorry HTC One M7/M8 owners. Some devices with especially powerful NFC readers will even work with a Dimple on the front.

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If you're interested, you're looking at $25-27 for one Dimple, to be delivered in August. This is a flexible funding campaign, which is usually a bit fishy, but this product looks pretty legit and the campaign is already over one-third of the way to its $43,000 goal in the first day. It's going to happen.

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[Indiegogo]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • usaff22

    "will even with a Dimple on the front" - I guess you mean "will even work* with a Dimple on the front"

  • BozzyB

    I want my hardware keyboard back...

    • https://plus.google.com/+TroyLeonard Troy Leonard

      Sorry your stuck in 2003. You can get a sidekick on eBay

      • Mike Harris

        Your reference is as off as your spelling.

        • TheFirstUniverseKing

          Sorry you're stuck referencing his spelling when it's actually his grammar that's the problem.

          • Krzysztof Jozwik

            your and you're, that's spelling.

          • TheFirstUniverseKing

            But the spelling is fine, he just used it in an improper context, thus it's a grammar problem.

      • Michael Williams

        You're a tool. Here is your tool award. Remember this post in the future and look much less like a moron.

        However, I doubt you'll even understand it.

      • BozzyB

        I'm thinking of a keyboard with nowadays technology - not 2003's. Thin and light is one important criteria.
        And don't think touchscreen is the best solution just because one company felt like it some years ago because it looks "just great" - this is no criteria for me. It also has to work well, but it doesn't.
        Just some reasons not to use touchscreens (only):
        - Display gets dirty because of fingerprints (smears)
        - Display content gets hided by finger (you never see exactly what you pressed on)
        - Touchscreen does not always response
        - no tactile feedback
        - Fingers do not reach across whole screen
        - no shortcuts (Ctrl+E = Email etc.)
        - you have to be freaking careful not to touch something accidentally: The whole front area of the phone has to be kept clear of any touches of body parts (hands, cheek, etc)
        -> uncomfortable holding of the phone just on the edges
        - inconvenient for alot of games
        - no protective edge around screen allowed because of "wipe in" touch gestures -> glas breaks
        - energy consumption
        - software keyboard takes 2/3 of display
        - lots of typing mistakes with software keyboard

        I bet you can think of some more if you think about it...

        • Krzysztof Jozwik

          I miss my OG DROID.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/77537273@N03/ Herman

      A Nokia E7 or N950 like Android flagship with modern specs.
      Boy, would I buy the hell out of that.

      • Krzysztof Jozwik

        How about Moto just makes another legit DROID. 5" slider would be killer.

        • http://www.flickr.com/photos/77537273@N03/ Herman

          They weren't sold in The Netherlands (were they even sold anywhere in Europe?).
          All I know is that Nokia's landscape keyboards were one of the best, if not the best.

          • Krzysztof Jozwik

            The international version was called the Milestone

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/77537273@N03/ Herman

            But only the first two Milestones were released here. Didn't they have a fourth one already?

          • Krzysztof Jozwik

            Yea, they released a 3 and 4 stateside. The new Moto could build a superb slider though.

    • Ajanu

      I love being able to swype (with swiftkey) but I too would love a real keyboard. A keybo 2 type phone with touchscreen E-Ink front and regular LCD or AMOLED inside would be sweet. Maybe with a double hinge so the keyboard can go all the way behind and cover the E-Ink for thick phone 1 handed touch use.

      • IronPlumber

        I sit at my netbook wishing I could swipe to type. Is that wrong?

    • Espionage724

      I have a phone with a hardware keyboard (Motorola X603)... I really can't stand it. It's way too awkward for me to try to type with.

      • Krzysztof Jozwik

        You have a 3 year old Moto wanna be blackberry phone and therefore thing keyboards don't belong on phones? Sliders are where it's at.

  • Daniel Smith

    I actually think this is a brilliant idea.

    You could put Play Buttons on the back of your phone for example, or put a a home button, recent apps etc so you can use your phone better in one hand.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/77537273@N03/ Herman

    How accurately would it work with NFC?
    I've noticed that my Xperia Z1 is very precise when it comes to NFC touches. Anything that's a couple of centimetres off from the NFC logo on the back is not going to be registered...

  • Captain Canada

    Featured phones are the future!

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

    Damn it, I have to give it a try.

    I can really see using this in the car. And that seems like such an obvious thing, but they don't show it in the video. I would totally use something like this to start a playlist or toggle the wireless modes.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Or go Next/Prev if your ROM doesn't support long-press volume buttons to do that.

  • https://www.youtube.com/user/MAT0R0 ℳατoгo Ẕεɭɨρħ

    I can't stop laughing when the narrator says, "Dimple" and then further describes them. They're pretty much "Pimples" on your phone! xD ROFL!

    Besides the funny name, this looks like a brilliant idea. But the design seems like it is for the casual audience (who just likes buttons). I mean I can quickly and easily access my camera, and other shortcuts through action launcher and pie launcher. And with the Oneplus One, with off-screen gestures there is really no point of getting this.

    However, maybe later on, they can make "dimple" D-pads (front side of phone) and L/R Triggers (corner sides of phone) for some gaming. It would make controlling FPSs a bit easier.

  • Michael

    Wonder if it would work with Tasker to reprogram buttons on the fly. Imagine having it normally do things like the camera, flashlight, whatever, and when your music app opens, change over to play, pause, skip, etc...

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

      Even if it doesn't launch with Tasker support, the API they mentioned will make it dead simple to write a plugin.

      • http://dimple.io Richard Skrubis

        Tasker integration is already on the Play store :)

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/cody-toombs/ Cody Toombs

          Maybe you should link to that, because it doesn't show up with a search for "tasker dimple," which I imagine most people would be looking for. If it's a feature built into the DIMPLE.IO app (link), there should probably be some reference to Tasker support in the description.

  • Justin Quang

    Oh hardware tactile buttons. How much I like and dislike you.

  • *

    I was thrilled by the idea but 25$ ?! That's insane.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      $1 Xiaomi Nipples coming right up.

      • Avalos

        After getting burned with the Pressy campaign(still waiting!), I feel like a jerk for thinking something similar.

        • David Belyea

          Same here. Can I cancel and get my money back from that?

  • Matthew Fry

    I approve of this idea.

  • flosserelli

    That huge black bar on the M8 may actually be handy!

    Oh wait....

  • troph

    Phone nipples?

    • flosserelli

      Yeah if these came in flesh colors, it would be an instabuy.

      • http://dimple.io Richard Skrubis

        I am the founder / CEO of DIMPLE Inc.

        We could totally do flesh color as a stretch goal!

        • flosserelli

          Dude if you are serious, then I am serious!

    • Sky

      Mobile motor boat?

  • ajm135

    so they just copied Sony?

  • Michael Williams

    Great idea, if a bit too expensive for my tastes. Another problem is this probably won't work with my wireless chargers. Anything that isn't compatible with those are instantly out the window.

    • http://dimple.io Richard Skrubis

      It works with wireless

  • valapsp

    $25 for this? how about NO?

  • briankariu

    I do not trust someone who has advanced task killer on their nexus 5

  • Guest

    This sort of discouraged me.

    Even though the adhesive used allows for easy removal, each time you remove a DIMPLE from your device's surface, the adhesive properties will deteriorate and that may compromise the longevity of the DIMPLE. You should be fine for at least 5-10 attachments and removals. After that, the DIMPLE may not stick to the surface as well as when it was new. We are exploring options to use adhesive that can be reused as many times as you want, without compromising the thinness of DIMPLE.

    Maybe if they came out with a magnet version or something for the Nexus 5 I would pick one up. Only 5-10 sticks seems pretty low.

    • Brandon

      Agreed. Can't use it with my N5 wireless charger it looks like also.

      • Avalos

        it *should* work with the wireless charger. I hollowed out a book and stuck the charger inside and the charging worked through the hardcover AND a Spigen Neo Hybrid case that my N5 had on.

  • ThomasMoneyhon

    damn. another great project I will NOT fund due to it being on indiegogo. :( shame.

  • abhi098

    Can this work with a case on the phone? If not it is useless.

    • http://www.thecanadiantechie.com Sachin Bahal

      they said it can work with a case, as long as the case is not metal then you should be fine, also this will NOT work with either the HTC One (M7) and (M8)

  • lobstermagnet

    It's a perfect match for the bandaid back of the S5. Now it will have more the "health" features and look that Samsung was going for. In all seriousness this is ugly, and not at all practical. If it looked better AMD wasn't expensive then I'm sure many not people would consider it. Hearing people say 'look your phone has nipples or a pimple' isn't exactly something that I want to hear about my phone.