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A phone as thin and flexible as a credit card

News18

Updated: May 6, 2011, 2:45 PM IST
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A phone as thin and flexible as a credit card
The PaperPhone is a forerunner of paper-thin phones and tablets of the future.

Toronto: Canadian researchers have invented a plastic smartphone which is as thin and flexible as a credit card and changes its shape depending on where it is stored.

Dubbed PaperPhone, this smartphone, with its 9.5-cm diagonal thin film flexible display, is a forerunner of paper-thin handset and tablets of the future, according to the researchers.

On this ultra-thin smart phone, users don't need a touch screen or buttons to make a call, play music, zoom Google maps or flip through e-books. Rather, commands are triggered by bending its corners, or rolling its right edge backward or forward. Bending it in different ways triggers different commands in its sensors.

Researchers say it does everything a smart phone does, like store books, play music or make phone calls.

Because of its flexible form of the display, it will be much more portable that any current mobile device and will shape with your pocket because it senses its shape.

"This is the future. Everything is going to look and feel like this within five years," according lead researcher Roel 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." With the invention of these ultra-thin smart phones, offices in future will not require paper or printers as users will be able to store and interact with documents on larger version of these mobile devices, say the researchers.

"The paperless office is here. Everything can be stored digitally and you can place these computers on top of each other just like a stack of paper, or throw them around the desk," says Vertegaal who is director of University Human Media Lab at Queen's University in Kingston.

The researchers have also developed a wearable computer that bends to wrap around your wrist. Once you remove it, you can use it as a notepad, says Vertegaal.

"It knows what shape it's in. It knows it's no longer on your arm. Now you're using it as a notepad, so it changes its functionality to be a notepad," the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation quotes him as saying.

Calling it a game-changing technology, he says it will five to 10 years to mass market it.

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First Published: May 6, 2011, 2:45 PM IST
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