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  • 'Paper iPhone' to Debut Next Week at the Computer Human Interaction Conference

    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.

    Source: MSNBC
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 'Paper iPhone' to Debut Next Week at the Computer Human Interaction Conference started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 41 Comments
    1. CX3NT3_713's Avatar
      CX3NT3_713 -
      No way!!! Lol
    1. Pavlov's Avatar
      Pavlov -
      Ahh yes, why would I want to scroll down on my device with the flick of a finger when I could bend the corner???

      Cool technology to show off in a lab, but practically it seems like a step backwards if anything.
    1. The Man of Sand's Avatar
      The Man of Sand -
      I hope this will be in the iPhone 7!
    1. jasvncnt10's Avatar
      jasvncnt10 -
      Boy, gaming would be tough
    1. iFiend's Avatar
      iFiend -
      Quote Originally Posted by Pavlov View Post
      Ahh yes, why would I want to scroll down on my device with the flick of a finger when I could bend the corner???

      Cool technology to show off in a lab, but practically it seems like a step backwards if anything.

      I cant imagine any real world use for that. Looks cool, but that's about it.
    1. xattica's Avatar
      xattica -
      I wrote about this 2 months ago!
    1. TheJailbreakGenius's Avatar
      TheJailbreakGenius -
      If, like in 5 years, this is implemented in the iPhone, Steve will roll over in his bed/grave and scream for all he's worth.

      Edit: What is the point of a phone with 3 buttons, that "bends" to ur will.
    1. bigboyz's Avatar
      bigboyz -
      More like the iPhone 18 haha! Way too soon for the public :]

      Looks like some sweet technology...just not ready for public use yet. Thin is good...too thin is bad haha!
    1. Anthony92's Avatar
      Anthony92 -
      Havent we already had April Fools this year??
    1. AUZambo's Avatar
      AUZambo -
      Interesting concept, but this is a step backwards from touch screens. Simply touching what you want is so intuitive, why in the world would you want to take the time to program different folding gestures to customize your phone?

      As is usually the case with technological innovations, they're just playing with possibilities now. It may turn out that after years of tweaks and research this type of technology will be used in phones, but I imagine it will be nothing like how it is used in this clip.

      *EDIT: Something else about this is that you need both hands to fold the device. There would have to be another option for use in the car.
    1. kadinh's Avatar
      kadinh -
      this does not interest me; especially the video. we saw the first 5 times that it can bend. we dont need a full minute more of the same thing over and over.
    1. Loxs's Avatar
      Loxs -
      The screen is e-ink, and would server no purpose in a phone at this present time. slow refresh rates poor colour and not readable in the dark! If however they managed to use the new philips paper lcd and include touch capabilities then sign me up.
    1. Jahooba's Avatar
      Jahooba -
      I'm a little underwhelmed by that video. BUT, maybe it's an older prototype?

      I've just seen sooooo many concepts of bendy computers, and none of them seem practical/ ready for commercial production.
    1. alexevo's Avatar
      alexevo -
      damn when I first saw this before I clicked the video I was thinking it was some kind of armband phone that you could strap on. now I am even less impressed because it isn't technically "flexible" in the sense that the whole phone isn't because you obviously can't bend the battery.

      when will we have phones with HD resolution yet can be rolled up or folded up like a piece of paper to fit in our pocket?

      is "e-ink" a new way to describe a really really crappy display?
    1. vantheman169's Avatar
      vantheman169 -
      No thanks. Dont want a phone that bends. Sorry.
    1. zoso10's Avatar
      zoso10 -
      Cool... till I accidentally sit on that and crease it; then it's perpetually clicking.
    1. Cowboy's Avatar
      Cowboy -
      Not sure how i feel about it
    1. therockk's Avatar
      therockk -
      Watched the video. Seems like more of a hassle using this than an iPhone.... The whole bending the edges seemed really stupid. Also it wasn t accurate when he bent the edges. Sometimes it wouldn't even do anything so he had to do it again. My verdict: step backwards!
    1. i.Annie's Avatar
      i.Annie -
      Wouldn't it look stupid if everyone out shopping whips out their phone and starts bending the corner?

      I dunno. I wouldn't want it. Id rather have a touchscreen.
    1. mmaboi21's Avatar
      mmaboi21 -
      As ugly as that "paper iPhone" is... It's still pretty cool. I don't think Anybody really will have any use for it. That's as far as it goes