Erato was a music phone with a novel scrolling interaction. Tasked with adapting some existing wireframes to enhance functionality for listening to music, I reframed the design problem to see where we could really add value to the music experience. Scrolling a list to find a particular track was very challenging on devices of the time, including the iPod - the touch wheel made it hard to move th efocus one item and long lists were a struggle - and scrolling on other devices was hard work and put the device in control - flinging the focus through the list or keeping a button pressed until you overshot the target.
I invented a means of scolling using a touch sensitive strip that afforded quick and easy navigation through long lists and individual item selection. I ran a project to create a physical prototype of the scrolling interaction to test with users. Working with an Industrial Designer, we created a simpel hardware design to accommodate the touch-sensitive strip hardware and drivers I obtained from Synaptics (makers of early iPod touch wheel hardware). I engaged and agency to develop a PC-based demo of the interface and scrolling method that I had specified. The prototype tested well with users in London. Seoul HQ decided to produce a handset with a touch wheel like the iPod instead. The scrolling but the concept was not taken forward by Seoul HQ. The scrolling mechanism for Erato was designed prior to the availability of good capacitive touchscreens, but th eoncept would translate perfectly well into this hardware context and would compete favourably with the current 'index scrolling' and 'fling to scroll' interactions on these screens.