researchers have invented a plastic smart phone which is as thin
and flexible as a credit card and changes its shape depending on
where it is stored.
Dubbed PaperPhone, this smart phone, with its 9.5-cm diagonal thin
film flexible display, is a forerunner of paper-thin handset and
tablets of the future, according to the researchers.
On this ultra-thin smart phone, users don't need a touch screen or
buttons to make a call, play music, zoom google maps or flip
through e-books. Rather, commands are triggered by bending its
corners, or rolling its right edge backward or forward. Bending it
in different ways triggers different commands in its sensors.
Researchers say it does everything a smart phone does, like store
books, play music or make phone calls.
Because of its flexible form of the display, it will be much more
portable that any current mobile device and will shape with your
pocket because it senses its shape.
"This is the future. Everything is going to look and feel like
this within five years,'' according lead researcher Roel Vertegaal.
"You interact with it by bending it into a cell phone, flipping
the corner to turn pages, or writing on it with a pen.'' With the
invention of these ultra-thin smart phones, offices in future will
not require paper or printers as users will be able to store and
interact with documents on larger version of these mobile devices,
say the researchers.
"The paperless office is here. Everything can be stored digitally
and you can place these computers on top of each other just like a
stack of paper, or throw them around the desk,'' says Vertegaal
who is director of University Human Media Lab at Queen's
University in Kingston.
The researchers have also developed a wearable computer that bends
to wrap around your wrist. Once you remove it, you can use it as a
notepad, says Vertegaal.
"It knows what shape it's in. It knows it's no longer on your arm.
Now you're using it as a notepad, so it changes its functionality
to be a notepad,'' the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation quotes
him as saying.
Calling it a game-changing technology, he says it will five to 10
years to mass market it.