A Smartphone As Thin As A Paper

Finally, here’s something Apple hasn’t thought of. Researchers at the Human Media Lab at Canada’s Queen University developed a fully-functioning smartphone. Whatever, who cares right? Except that this one is a fully-functioning floppy paper-thin smartphone – hence the name Paperphone. But the lack in weight does not compromise its performance.

The Paperphone can do what a normal smartphone does – receive and make calls, store e-books, and even play music. The main difference though, besides the fact that it seems as if you’re holding a piece of paper while doing all of those things, is that you operate and navigate through the phone by bending it. “This computer looks, feels and operates like a small sheet of interactive paper. You interact with it by bending it into a cell phone, flipping the corner to turn pages, or writing on it with a pen,” says Roel Vertegaal, the creator of the device as well as the director of the Human Media Lab.

The device has a 9.5-cm flexible display, in which underneath it there is a flexible circuit that has bend sensors that can be programmed to recognize different types of bending gestures. These gestures can be used in navigating menus, making calls, selecting songs and any other function. It also comes with a built-in Wacom tablet that allows users to draw on its screen. After all, it is paper-like.

Another cool feature about this phone is that when it is not being operated, it does not consume electricity. Vertegaal’s team developed a similar device called the Snaplet, which can be worn as a wrist band. It’s a watch in a convex form, a PDA when flat, and phone when concave.

Well I guess one of the reasons why Apple hasn’t thought of this yet is that… It doesn’t look too attractive. I mean I wouldn’t be hauling that thing around in my wrist.


But feature-wise, I’d give it a thumbs up. How about you? Would you be using something like this in the future?

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