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Experiment shows Droid buggy when used by long haired people

Discussion in 'Android Tech Support' started by torresdavid, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. torresdavid
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    torresdavid New Member

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    It seems that the Droid is buggy when used by people with long hair, the problem is that the Droid's proximity sensor fails and leads to accidental key presses (commonly the end call button).

    And I have a quick experiment to show it...

    THE STORY :

    My girlfriend has been having problems with dropped calls since she got her Droid. The problem was that she was some how hitting the End Call button while in the middle of a phone call. Now, under normal operation, the Droid's proximity sensor should detect when you have the phone up to your head, it then locks itself to avoid accidental key presses. (You can check this out for yourself by entering into a phone call session and moving your hand or other object up close to the phone, the screen dims and locks as the object approaches the phone).

    The problem my girlfriend was having was that you could explicitly see the proximity sensor failing while she was in a phone call. That is, she had the phone right up to her head, yet the screen was not dimming/locking. To make things weirder, the proximity sensor worked just fine with me!

    I know what you are thinking, something is wrong with your girlfriend's head, I thought that too. But then better senses prevailed. We tried this simple experiment that shows that our Droid does not play well with long hair. This may not be a problem for ALL Droids, but we did try this out on two phones and they both exhibited the same bug...


    THE EXPERIMENT:

    For this experiment you will need a test subject (with hair, preferably long hair but you can try this with short hair too):

    1) Go into a call (you can call your voice mail and leave it in call mode).

    2) Put the phone right up to your subject such that your subject's hair is right up against the phone. If your subject has long hair, you can go ahead and put the phone next to the subject's ear, making sure that his/her hair is between the phone and his/her ear. If your subject has short hair you can just put the phone on top of your subject's head, the proximity sensor is supposed to work just the same.

    3) If you "wiggle" the phone you will notice that the Droid's screen will periodically light up, indicating that it is **unlocked and subject to accidental key presses**. In normal operation the proximity sensor should keep this from happening. (NOTE: By "wiggling" I mean, move the phone a few millimeters up and down and side to side.)

    4) Now for the control part of the experiment : Try this same experiment up against your subject's ear, make sure there is no hair in between the ear and the phone. You will notice that the screen stays dark, meaning it's locked and working normally.



    It would be nice to see if others can replicate this experiment....

    -- David
    davidtorresengineer.com
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2010
  2. jefbystereo
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    jefbystereo New Member

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    Thats a great hypothesis and a good experimental setup too, Ill have to give this a try with my fiancee in the next few days. Ill report back once I do it.

    Haha, classic
  3. godanigo
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    godanigo New Member

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    I had the same problem and I just started putting the phone under my hair. Kinda annoying, but hey.
  4. batichica
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    batichica New Member

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    Doesn't work

    I've tried under the hair and it doesn't work for me...I'm blond don't know if that makes a difference. No need for blond jokes. :)
  5. bpad10
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    bpad10 New Member

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    If I recall....the screen works by heat (ex body temp). If you try to manipulate the touch screen using an object such as a pencil or your finger thru a glove, it won't register the action. I presume the same thing is happening with her long hair. The hair is acting like a barrier and not allowing the screen to come in contact with her skin.

    If she were to hold the phone directly to her ear I would bet that she wouldn't. Lose her calls

    As a lab scientist, I'm always interested in an experiment. Let me know if that helps...
  6. R1Lover
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    R1Lover New Member

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    I have no hair and this has happened to me, so while you may think your onto something... your not lol
  7. Spyte
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    Spyte New Member

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    The screen is a capacitive touchscreen. Electrically based not thermal.
  8. bpad10
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    bpad10 New Member

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    Facial hair? Cold weather? Moving the phone away from your skin? I may be wrong... It resolved my wifes dropped call problem. She would always talk "through" her hair. Now she makes sure it stays in contact with her ear and hasn't had a problem since

    Alright....its not thermal, but needs something such as skin (conductor) with some electrostactic property to produce a change in its electrical charge....which initiates the action. Hair would act as a buffer....

    Right track, wrong energy
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2010
  9. torresdavid
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    torresdavid New Member

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    Hey bpad, so just to clarify, the problem isn't with the touch screen, but rather a separate proximity sensor that is active when the phone is in the middle of a phone call.

    Try putting the phone in call mode (call your voicemail for example) and then place any object close to the phone's ear piece. You will notice that the phone dims and locks, thereby preventing accidental key presses. This sensor is activated by proximity to any object, inanimate ones too.

    The problem is that this sensor does not work correctly with some people. My guess is that it has something to do with long hair. Right or wrong, I'm certain it has something to do with bodily differences because the same phone that fails for my girlfriend works perfectly fine with me and with the Verison sales rep down the street.

  10. bpad10
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    bpad10 New Member

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    So the proxy sensor is separate than the capacitive sensor? Does it respond by positioning (orientation)? Touch?

    Interesting, I haven't heard about this. Does it incorporate the capacitive properties?
  11. cereal killer
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    cereal killer Administrator Staff Member

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    Actually this is a known issue and is documented on
    Motorola's sight. Long hair DOES interfere with the proximity sensor while in calls.
  12. Canyouhearmenow?
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    Canyouhearmenow? New Member

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    They have replaced my Driod 4 times! The long hair IS the issue. It has to be.

    My boyfriend and I both have Droids. Ever since I got the phone, it has been dropping calls infuriatingly. I seriously started to think I was cursed, because sometimes it would happen all day long with every single call I made, and somedays not at all. I now realize that when I was wearing my hair pinned back it was not an issue. The phone censor starts doing things while I am on a call, going into a call screen mode and then muting my voice. Other times it just hangs up the phone. The people at the Verizon store here kept acting like I was just getting lemon phones. They were like: oh that's really strange. So they actually replced my phone FOUR TIMES. It has happened to me with every phone they gave me. My boyfriend doesn't ever have this problem due to his short hair.

    Lemmie ask you a question Verizon...how hard can it be to make this work for people? People have hair on their heads! IPhone does it. I have been so frustrated about this before I realized what was going on that I almost kicked a hole in the wall. I thought I was cursed by the gods of cellular service, but now I know it is just a bad design. There can be no other answer. Since I read this forum, I have been holding my hair back during calls and I have had no problem.

    They really need to fix this issue. It is ridiculous. People who do not believe this is a problem, do you have any other explanations for me?
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