A new prototype of futuristic flexible smartphones was revealed by researchers from Queen’s University of Human Media Lab in Canada. The MorePhone, aside from having a flexible display, visibly curls up when a call comes in.
The smartphone is able to accomplish its “sit-ups” thanks to shape memory alloy wires and a thin electrophoretic display. An incoming call activates the wires and induces the phone to curl up all four corners. The flexible smartphone can also curl up individual corners to indicate incoming SMS messages, email, and other events.
The electrophoretic display was manufactured by Plastic Logic, a specialist company on plastic electronics. The technology gives a hint of the direction phone designs are heading for in the future. Roel Vertegaal, director of the Human Media Lab, has built several other prototypes of flexible phones and expects commercial versions to be on the market within 5 to 10 years.
While the MorePhone still has a long way to go towards commercial viability (it has no color display at present), it offers unique advantages. One of these is the unmistakable visual cue that alerts owners when someone is trying to contact them. Vertegaal points out that usual call alerts like ringing and vibrating are already familiar to most users. Phone owners can miss notifications especially with silent modes. The flexible, curling MorePhone makes sure it will not be as easy to ignore.
Source: Human Media Lab