How to (Sort of) Get Apple's 3D Touch on Android

By Chris Mills on at

Apple’s neat 3D Touch tricks rely on a touchscreen containing integrated pressure sensors that determine between a ‘peek’ and a ‘pop’. But give a cunning Android hacker a waterproof phone and a barometer, and you can get a similar sort of effect.

In a proof-of-concept video posted to YouTube, developer Marco Chiappetta shows how the barometer in the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact can be hacked to produce some kind of pressure sensitivity. Because the Z3 Compact has seals over the ports to make it waterproof, it’s sort of airtight. So, when you push on the screen, there’s an increase in the internal air pressure of the phone, measurable with the barometer.

It’s not a perfect or particularly accurate reading, but the video demonstrates how it’s good enough to zoom in and out on an image, or drag it around. More to the point, it’s a fun reminder of everything that can be done with the multitude of sensors in phones, given enough creativity. And hey, maybe iPhone owners won’t get to hog all the Force Touch fun after all. [YouTube via Reddit]