Friday, May 6, 2011

The folding phone

A BBC article heralds the arrival of the folding mobile smartphone, Flexible phone made from electronic paper to debut. Researchers from Human Media Lab at Queen's University, Canada and Arizona State University's Motivational Environments Research group have developed a smartphone on electronic paper that can be bent and folded. You simply fold the sheet into smartphone size and then open apps and flip through pages by bending and pressing the paper. The version shown in the demo below is of course rather unsexy but it's just a matter of time before communication devices can be sewn into clothes of kept folded up in your pocket.

Otherwise it's interesting how the whole concept of mobile technology has changed so radically in just a couple of years whereas the terminology has stood still. We still talk about them as phones even if fewer and fewer people ever use them for traditional voice telephony (especially so with teens). We need a new name for these mobile devices that gets us away from the phone concept. Maybe when the foldable versions hit the streets we'll find a new name.

Read the press release from Human Media Lab.

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