LG Fathom - A step forward in an idea

June 2, 2010 / Microsoft

One of my old teammates just informed me about the release of LG Fathom, which was the device that I last worked on before I switched teams. I consider myself lucky to have things I’m deeply passionate about and actually get to work on them. It’s an interesting feeling to see devices that I work on being released and sometimes even spot them in the public. I always wonder whether the people I saw like their devices because during day-to-day work I need to make engineering decisions that impact the users. I would push hard for certain things knowing that it’s up to me to make things happen for the people that will buy the phones. The reason LG Fathom is special in my book is because of my main feature that I worked on for it - gesture unlock. CNET covered it in the review and in video.

By the way, you can change what letter is associated with what program in control panel contrary to what the reviewer said. WM6’s settings design was not the way I would have liked it, but I guess it’s hard to have everything developed to my liking. Gesture unlock is one small step though!

A while ago I approached my manager in my 1:1 with her to talk about my desire to play with latest and greatest software available in the phone division. I brought up a similar idea of using gesture to write letters to accomplish other tasks, and you can imagine how happy I was to be tasked to implement gesture unlock for LG. To me it was a small step towards the gesture idea.

During developement I had to overcome perf issues, fix memory and existing defects in the handwriting engine, collaborate with teammates on design for components we both change, etc. I had the chance to work with a passionate PM in Jason Bower, and I also enjoyed working with the tester Michael Yum. My classmate Larry Chen also pitched in with some of the bug fixing while I was away. It’s a team effort to make it happen. I’m sure there were many more hours of hard work by everyone else to get MTTF under control and the device stablized.

Now that the Fathom is out, I can put a half checkmark next to one of my ideas and continue to push forward to bring creativity and contribute to help bring innovations to the phones I like to tinker so much.

In-depth review: http://pocketnow.com/software-1/video-lg-fathom-software-review