London – Sony developed a 4G
HSPA+ Android smartphone whose touchscreen doesn’t have to be touched to
navigate a web page.
The Xperia Sola phone will be
available globally in the second quarter, but the company didn’t say when or if
it would be launched in the U.S.
The phone uses what Sony called floating touch
users to hover a finger up to 0.78 inches above the screen to scroll a web page
up and down or side to side as well as highlight embedded links. To activate a
link, however, users must still touch the screen.
The no-touch technology also
works with websites designed to respond to “hover” events in which a PC’s mouse
is used to move a pointer across a web page, the company said. Live wallpapers
provided by Sony will also respond to a hovering finger.
In the future, Sony promised to
apply the technology to other phone functions and applications, and the company
noted that future Android apps could be designed to respond to a floating
, which is exclusive to
Sony, can be seen in this
The phone will ship with two NFC
smart tags that users can program with up to 10 commands to automatically set
phone settings for difference uses. One tag is preprogrammed for living-room
use to turn
on Wi-Fi and launch
Google news and weather apps.
The other tag is designed for the bedroom to turn on the alarm and switch to
The phone operates in 850/1900MHz
14.4Mbps HSPA+ networks in the U.S. and in foreign HSPA+ networks. Features
include 1GHz dual-core
RAM, 3.7-inch 854
by 480 display,
Android 2.3 OS with a 4.0 upgrade planned for the summer, DLNA certification,
access to Sony’s music and movie-streaming services, 8GB internal
storage, 32GB MicroSD
slot, and a 5-megapixel camera with flash, panorama mode, 16x digital zoom, autofocus, face detection, 720p video capture with video light
are available on Sony’s website.