Flexible Paper Phone

Though we saw another paper phone not to long ago, but the latest paper phone we’re seeing is much more high tech. Like the Kindle, it uses an E-Ink display and works by bending the phone into different positions to make calls, use apps, and listen to music.

Created by research teams at Queen’s University in Canada and Arizona State University, the 9.5-centimeter (diagonal) screen is actually a lightweight flexible display. It’s said to feel similar to a bendable piece of plastic.

Its thin body resembles that of a paper document, but, according to the video below, underneath the screen is a “flexible printed circuit with resistive bend circuits,” which are used to identify the bending of the display screen. The user actually chooses the shape for each function…


For example, you can choose to bend the upper-right corner to make a call, or bend the lower left to listen to music. These shapes are then recorded into the software, and when repeated, they send the appropriate action to the device.

According to Prof. Roel Vertegaal, director of Queen’s University’s Human Media Lab, the phone does everything a normal smartphone can do. We don’t see any camera as of yet, so it’s missing a feature that’s extremely popular with smartphones, but we know it’s in the early stages, so that could be added in the future. He also said that with larger versions we’ll “no longer need paper or printers.” We’re not sure if we’d go so far as to say that, but it can definitely supplement the paper and printers we’ve used for so long.

The Paper Phone is still only a prototype, but Vertegaal expects all phones to be like this in the next five to 10 years. The main question on our minds is if the number of pocket-calls will go up as a result of the user sitting down and the edge of their phone bending upwards.

Read more at the Human Media Lab

via Dvice