The current trend of phones is definitely progressing with the concept of “the bigger, the better.” We have witnessed the outstanding crowd that rushed for iPhone 6 Plus and the coming rush for the Samsung Note 4. Still, there are some things that cannot progress with technology. Our human physiology, for instance, has not been able to evolve to fit these fine creations. Fret not, the Japanese are here to save the day for they have an app(endage) for everyone.
Diagonally, the screens on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are 4.7 inches and 5.5 inches respectively. Now, take a glance at your fingers. Just in case you have not laid your eyes on the magnificence of these giants of smartphone industry, I will have you know that the average length of a male thumb is 2.74 inches and for women, it is 2.49 inches. Now, imagine stretching your considerably petite appendage to navigate the huge screen.
Have we not, the digital Athens, vowed to avoid any sort of unnecessary exertion as a rule of thumb? We resolve to technology to make our lives easier, not the other way around. Remembering this vow, Thanko has bestowed upon us the wonders of a prosthetic thumb called the ‘Yubi Nobiiru’.
Translated to English, ‘Yubi Nobiiru’ stands for Finger Growth, and it does precisely that. This soft silicone attachment weighs 11 grams and enlarges your thumb by an extra 0.59 inches. Don’t worry now, no surgery is required. It’s a hollow stylus that fits on your thumb comfortably. There is a built-in conductor on the tip of the appendage that makes certain that the touch is registered by the screen. It comes in skin colour to refrain from sticking out like a sore thumb (pun intended). This artificial digit only costs ¥1,480 (£8.31).
One may argue the redundancy of this stylus when Apple being aware of the short-finger problem has included a ‘reachability’ feature in its recent products. The screen of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are designed to shift down to the lower half once the home button is tapped twice. Thanko has an answer for that too.
“This wasn’t specifically designed for the new iPhone but for overall smartphones because screen sizes are getting larger and difficult to handle,” Thanko told The Wall Street Journal.
The extender would serve as a tremendous convenience for those who travel in buses or trains, having to hold their phones in one hand and the strap for balance in another. Or rushing to work with suitcase in one hand? The thumb will allow you to navigate the entirety of your phablet screen in one hand. Remember the moment of agitation that is followed by an intense exasperation when your palm accidentally brushes the screen and registers an input? Thanks to Thanko, the thumb helps to keep such instances away too.
While this fake thumb is clever in its purpose and design, its difficult to imagine it becoming a staple of everyday tech navigation. Though designed to be discreet, people are eventually going to notice if you have an extra large thumb at work or when you’re out with friends. Instead of bringing around strange prosthetic, maybe consider just using a smaller phone?