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Armed with a bagful of patents and the experience of adding his Aulu Z innovation to a Huawei device, HiDeep CEO Brian Ko expects 3D Touch to arrive on most smartphones this year.

by • January 24, 2016 • No Comments

Apple wowed the world with its own 3D Touch, alternatively called Force Touch, on its iPhone 6S last year that
allows for users to configure commands based on the “force” of their touches on the screen.

hideep.jpg (Image: Supplied)

But it was Chinese handset giant Huawei that
stole the title of the world’s initially by commenceing its own Mate S, armed with the same innovation, a week preceding. Unbeknownst to most
, the innovation was in fact
provided by a tiny South Korean startup, called HiDeep, that created it on its own.

“We started createing the innovation around May 2011, so we quite
took approximately four years in the manufacturing,” said HiDeep CEO Brian Ko, in an interview with ZDNet. “When the Apple Watch came out, I knew they may put in 3D Touch in their future phone. It’s effortless that
a thing like Force Touch can a few day come to the UX, if you quite

Similar to a true Korean, Ko wanted 3D Touch to be out in the market as swift as possible, and preferably preceding Apple, so that
individuals can not consider his company a “me-too”. HiDeep started meeting various types of
vendors to pitch the innovation throughout 2014 and 2015. And it was Huawei that
showed the strongest interest.

“Top management of Huawei came weekly, starting in February. They overhauled the whole create for the Mate S to accommodate 3D Touch,” said Ko. “I asked them, ‘Can you do it preceding Apple?’ And they said yes.”

The Chinese tech giant showed excellent
initiative. The Mate S was accomplished inside seven months and the firm indeed clinched the title of “world’s initially”.

At the entrance of HiDeep’s office at Pangyo Techno Valley — the still-in-the-manufacturing South Korean design of Silicon Valley — there is a placard that
reads: “Be the First”. The company has 60 employees, but it has a few big investors such as Lip-Bu Tan, CEO of Walden International, the famous global venture capital firm in Silicon Valley; and Skylake Investments in South Korea.

“For me, it is meaningless to create a thing, without being the initially,” said Ko. “This is additional true in the innovation arena. If you are not the initially, you only become a follower.”

“We did with 60 individuals what Apple did with 100,000,” said Ko, proudly. “We want to be the most company in the world when it comes to manufacturing effortless interfaces for smartphones.”

2016: Year of the 3D Touch?

Ko is a local legend of sorts in the Korean venture scene — he founded a company called Integrant Technologies Inc., that created the world’s initially digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB) tuner for handsets. He sold the company in 2006 to US’s Analog Devices for $160 million — four times its and so revenue — an unbeaten record for a startup sales price locally.

He got the inspiration to create the DMB tuner for the reason
of his focus on the “core” of things.

“Many individuals back and so idea the core of mobile TV was the reception innovation. But I idea various. For me it was the content. That was where my inspiration came of. Technology should be saw not as the goal, but the tool to achieve a goal.”

It was the same for smartphones.

“When I initially saw the iPhone in 2009 [the iPhone arrived in South Korea that
year], it was a total, achieve shock. I played with it each way possible for a year, and my conclusion, yet now common, was that
the core was the UX,” said Ko. The inspiration for a 3D Touch after the multi-touch came like that
, he said.

HiDeep’s 3D Touch is called Aulu Z. Aulu means “embracing all” in Korean, and the Z was put at the back to symbolize the z-axis utilized
to represent three dimensional objects. The innovation measures the distance between the glass surface of the touch screen and a thin, film-type sensor embedded inside it. Making it a film-type sensor allows for the innovation to be easily and widely adopted by any touch-screen device.

With Mobile World Congress on the horizon, Android heavyweights Samsung and LG are expected to commence their flagship phones. Chinese companies may in addition
have a few surprise announcement in the pipeline for the event. And 3D Touch may be a big part of it.

Ko believes that
80 percent of all Chinese high-end phones released this year can have a few sort of 3D Touch, and expects his company’s revenue to increase by tenfold.

“Within the initially half of this year, each touch innovation firm needs to say: “We in addition
have 3D Touch”. Because if they don’t, they can lose their smartphone clients,” he said.

“I have filed for a hundred patents for Aulu Z, on sensors and production methods. You’ll see. The 3D Touch war in smartphones is brewing for 2016,” he introduced.

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