Michigan researchers invented a software-based alternative to 3D Touch that seems to work like a charm
However, researchers from the University of Michigan beg to differ. They propose a low-cost alternative, dubbed ForcePhone, that should work in almost every modern device. It's a feedback system based on technology that uses the readily available microphones and the screen's touch layer to recognize when actual force (weight) is applied to the screen and tell when the phone is being squeezed. Beyond these prerequisites, which are met even by the most basic of mobile devices, the solution is entirely software-based and essentially works like a sonar.
Thus, a hand squeeze can flip eBook or browser pages, and many other shortcuts can be generated by sequencing squeezes, screen presses and taps. We can't know for sure whether the sensitivity of capturing tiny frequency compares to that of using actual haptic motors, but the mechanic is definitely clever and looks like a viable alternative.
While ForcePhone is still in an experimental stage, the researchers will present their invention at a conference in Singapore schedule for late June, and manufacturers will probably take notice.