Friday, June 27, 2008

iPhone Touchscreen a Challenge for Some Women

Long fingernails make it hard to type on the iPhone ...

"Some women with long nails have a hard time typing on the iPhone's touchscreen because the nail itself doesn't have the right electrical properties. When Apple announced all the new iPhone 2.0 features on June 9th, there was nothing new that solved that problem.

Right after the WWDC Keynote on June 9th, when many new features for the iPhone 2.0 software were announced, Erica Watson-Currie of Newport Beach, Calif felt frustrated. She told the L.A. Times about her problems typing on her iPhone.

"Considering ergonomics and user studies indicating men and women use their fingers and nails differently, why does Apple persist in this misogyny?" Ms. Watson-Currie wrote.

Of course, one of the key design points of the iPhone is its ability to operate without real plastic keys and/or a stylus. While a stylus would really help for some, it's just not something Apple wants to do.

The problem stems from the fact that the iPhone touchscreen responds to the electrical charge of the human fingertip -- but not the finger nail itself. Some observers even predicted that might become a problem with teenage girls. So far, however, sales number suggest there hasn't been a problem, and sales to women are growing faster than to men lately.

There is one solution. Ten One Design sells a iPhone stylus. Another idea from an ergonomic consultant that doesn't yet exist: nail polish that has the desired electrical properties.

The tenor of the situation was summarized by another woman reader: "Why are they still discriminating against those of us with fingernails? ... Guess it's a Blackberry for me :("    (Continued via The iPod Observer, John Martellaro)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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