This Flexible Prototype Is A Glimpse At Your Future Phone

This Flexible Prototype Is a Glimpse at Your Future Phone

The sci-fi dream of flexible electronics is on its way — it's just taking a while to arrive. But this new prototype flexible smartphone, that responds to the way it's bent and twisted, at least hints at how your future phone may behave. Created by researchers from Queen's University's Human Media Lab, the device uses a 720p LG Display Flexible OLED touch screen, with bend sensors and haptic feedback motors built into the rear. At one end sits a solid board, housing a system-on-a-chip that runs Android 4.4. Called ReFlex, the device provides a pretty compelling look at what the first wave of truly flexible phones will look like.

This Flexible Prototype Is a Glimpse at Your Future Phone

In these gifs, you can see how physical gestures allow users to interact with the hardware, as Roel Vertegaal, one of the researchers, explains in a press release:

When this smartphone is bent down on the right, pages flip through the fingers from right to left, just like they would in a book. More extreme bends speed up the page flips. Users can feel the sensation of the page moving through their fingertips via a detailed vibration of the phone. This allows eyes-free navigation, making it easier for users to keep track of where they are in a document.. When a user plays the 'Angry Birds' game with ReFlex, they bend the screen to stretch the sling shot. As the rubber band expands, users experience vibrations that simulate those of a real stretching rubber band. When released, the band snaps, sending a jolt through the phone and sending the bird flying across the screen.

It sounds pretty compelling, to be honest. The team will present the new prototype at the Conference on Tangible Embedded and Embodied Interaction in Eindhoven later today. The technical details of the projects are described in this paper.

[Queen's University via PhysOrg]



    An awesome concept, would be great to see in action..... However, i would assume there would be a maximum point at which the device will bend before damage occurs, I can already feel the potential replacement cost burning through my savings account after over-bending my shiny new device XD

      Not a real concern.

        Of course it is. If you're going to create something that can be bent to a certain degree, there's that element of consumer that's always going to 'accidentally' bend it way too far. It's a valid concern.

          It's not a concern because it will be developed to the point where bending it too far will not cause it to break. They won't release a half finished prototype.

            So if I put a 180 degree bend in and crease it it will be perfectly fine? That's where the concerns come in. If I concertina it like that, will it be fine? These are the genuine types of concerns that are valid with something like this.

            And I beg to differ on 'developed to the point where bending it too far will not cause it to break'. It will be stress tested for sure, but everything has its breaking point, everything.

            But these researchers aren't involved in any of that, they took an off the shelf screen that anyone can buy, hooked it up to Android and changed the controls of some games.

            This is hardly research and more like tinkering.

              True, i didnt read the article well enough. In this case what they've done is quite uninteresting.

    .. because turning pages is sooo hard???

      Also because Angry Birds, that'll be a life changer.

        Way to miss the point of the the technology.

          Way to miss the joke.

            I suggest all jokes be labelled with (joke) in brackets from now on avoid any further confusion. (Joke)

    This would make an amazing eBook if it was up scaled, especially if with the inside "cover" doing duty as a library. Wrap it in leather and take my money.

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