This Paper-Thin Phone Will Soon Look Primitive

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A team of researchers at The Queens University Human Media Lab put together this flexible, ultra-thin phone out of electronic paper. They’re calling it — what else? — the PaperPhone, which does most of the things phones do nowadays: it places calls, lets you scroll through contacts, plays songs and even paginates text.

What’s interesting is that its command interface goes through an innovative set of bend sensors rather than relying on a user’s touch. While bending a gadget is unlikely to replace an actual touch screen, it’ll be a nice piece of augmentative technology that I can see being useful in the future. (Picture yourself reading an e-book one handed, creasing to the next page with merely a slight thumb depression. You won’t even need to put down your future-Coke.) Plus there’s all the added benefit of technology becoming more durable when you make it flex, meaning no more spider-webb-ish cracked screens for the especially clumsy.

“This is the future. Everything is going to look and feel like this within five years,” says creator and lab director Roel Vertegaal in a post on the HML blog. And you know what? I agree with him.

Can you imagine? Tablet computers you can roll up like a newspaper? The iPhone 11 that slides neatly into your wallet? I’m just wondering how they’ll slap the tracking disclaimer stickers on ’em without effectively doubling the weight.

(via Tree Hugger)

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