December 16, 2014 12:07 pm

Glance screen update and innovative new Lumia gesture controls incoming!

Catching wind of new Lumia updates in the pipeline, we spoke to Jussi Paanajarvi, senior program manager and Martin Jansky, senior product manager, about what’s upcoming for Lumia owners.

Hi Martin, we’ve heard about some new Lumia gesture controls on the horizon. Can you elaborate?

Of course! We’ve just launched our latest Beta Labs download that focuses on improving the caller experience. With this release you will be able to answer a call by bringing your Lumia to your ear, mute the microphone during call by putting the device display down, or put an ongoing call to the speaker when the device is placed on the table, display up.

Intriguing! How does it work?

By a combination of the accelerometer, which understands where the phone is travelling, and the optical proxy that recognizes when the phone is close to your ear.

With the Beta Labs download, you’ll be able to place the phone on a table (with the screen facing you) and it’ll switch to speakerphone. Flip the phone over and the mute feature will be activated – all during a single call.

Gestures_Beta_screen

Our long-term goal, however, is to create a larger set of gestures for controlling the device without touching the display or pressing buttons. We want to simplify your interaction with the phone.

What situations do you see these gestures being used in?

Think about coming home and talking to someone with your Lumia in one hand. By simply putting the phone on a table, it will switch to speakerphone while you to take your coat off. When you’re ready, just pick it up again and move around the house. It has a nice flow.

As well as being convenient, are these gestures also about being productive with your Lumia?

Absolutely. We’re making some steps redundant, so in turn, it will allow you to be more productive. It’s also about helping you in certain situations; where you may have only one hand free, for example.

Because this is a beta launch, is there a way for people to offer feedback?

We’ve got an extended set of features coming next year and we would really like feedback from people. It helps us to understand how we can make the technology more reliable before we roll it out to all devices.

Within the app is a link to User Voice where people can provide feedback.

And who will be able to download and use it?

The Gestures beta app is compatible with all Windows Phone 8.1 devices such as the Lumia 535, Lumia 830 and Lumia 730/735. The Lumia 630, Lumia 635 and Lumia 530 have limited functionality

Glance-photo

Shooting a Glance

Hi Jussi, so what can people expect with this Glance screen update?

The main change is the ability to have your lock screen photo visible on the Glance screen. We really want to allow people to personalize their Lumia as much as possible and think this update will help with that.

Is this a feature that’s being introduced based on customer feedback?

Yes. It’s been available in Beta Labs for a while. More than half a million users downloaded it and gave us lots of great feedback, which helped us shape the update that we will be rolling out. It highlighted just how much people want to decorate their Glance screen.

And what devices will get the update?

It’s a Lumia-specific feature that’ll be compatible with devices that have a display resolution of 720p or higher. Right now, that’s the Lumia 1520, Lumia 1320, Lumia 1020, Lumia 928, Lumia 925, Lumia 920 and Lumia 830.

Sounds great. Have you any of your own examples you can share with us?

Of course! It’s also worth pointing out that this feature is a real point of differentiation for us. No-one else has the means to personalize their device like this. While they focus on hardware-specific personalization, we are the first to introduce this software-based ability.

In short, Lumia owners have the opportunity for much more variation and we can’t wait to see what people come up with. (see left for example image)

Updated September 30, 2015 8:06 pm