Get ready for what could be a look into the future of smartphones - a distant look, that is. Next week at the Association for Computing Machinery's Computer Human Interaction conference in Vancouver, a remarkable prototype for what's been dubbed a "paper iPhone" will be demonstrated by its creator Roel Vertegaal, the director of Queen's University Human Media Lab.
According to published reports ahead of the formal May 10th unveiling of the PaperPhone - its actual name - the device is a
"pocket-sized computer as thin and flexible as a sheet of paper is." Although a lone prototype of the smartphone presently exists, the ingenious researchers behind the invention say the smartphone could "revolutionize the way we interact with computers."
Then again, if you think Apple products are sensitive to water damage now, just imagine the problems this little beauty would have. Nonetheless, the device in question "is a flexible version of e-ink, the digital ink screen found in e-readers such as the Amazon Kindle." So advanced is the design, however, that it may take another five to ten years before a company - possibly Apple - could introduce it to the mass market.
"This computer looks, feels and operates like a small sheet of interactive paper,” said 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." Incredibly, a brief demo reel of the prototype already exists. To better understand the (possible) future of flexible smartphones, check out the clip posted above.