Shape-shifting PaperFold Smartphone joins the fold

Shape-shifting PaperFold Smartphone joins the fold


May 5, 2014
Shape-shifting PaperFold Smartphone joins the fold Ever since Mobile phones have come into existence, they have undergone immense change and evolution with respect to their shape, size, aesthetics, feel, texture, etc… Now that mobile phones have transformed into smartphones, they too are going through drastic changes every now and then. With various mobile players namely LG, Samsung, Nokia, HTC, Sony, etc… present in the market, every now and then they are launching new smartphones with various aesthetic changes. From quite some years, LG and Samsung have been aggressively launching their smartphones with various aesthetic as well as technical up gradations. LG and Samsung had launched a whole new series possessing curvy displays and edges under the brand name G Flex and Galaxy round respectively. The curved display facilitated and enabled the user to hold the phone and carry it with great ease and grip. Recently, a group from Human Media Lab at Canada’s Queen’s University had developed a device named Paperphone which is a prototype of a fully functioning smartphone. This flexible smartphone comprises of a thin display film known as E – Ink Display. After Paperphone, the team had also developed two prototypes namely PaperTab and MorePhone. Recently, PaperFold Smartphone has entered in this league. PaperFold is quite a unique and novel type of smartphone. The smartphone is equipped with a multi – display screen which can change the shape of the smartphone. PaperFold has three different E – Ink displays which help the smartphone in changing its shape. While it changes shapes, E – Ink supports the phone by providing multiple screens and aids in functioning. As in the recent smartphones, the users need to flip screens continuously for browsing more content on phone. Since the content does not fit in one screen, the users have to keep scrolling it. The developers of PaperFold took the inspiration of developing this device from paper. As paper can be easily folded, combined, detached, etc., the team also decided upon developing such device which can be accessed the way one wants to. Professor and Director of Human Media Lab, Dr. Roel Vertegaal said, “The development of electronic paper computers that can adopt similar qualities to paper has been an enduring research goal for our team. Books use folding as both a navigational and space saving technique, and paper maps have malleable display sizes. The PaperFold smartphone adopts folding techniques that makes paper so versatile, and employs them to change views or functionality of a smartphone, as well as alter its screen real estate in a flexible manner. PaperFold demonstrates how form could equal function in malleable mobile devices.” The display of PaperFold has magnetic hinges attached to it which would enable the reader to read the desired content one after the other or simultaneously. The magnetic hinges connect one screen to another which would automatically signal it for changing the shape and screen. With twp displays in a single device, the user can efficiently choose the other display as a keyboard. Google Maps come out to be outstanding on this device. With three separate folds, the Google Map appears across all the three folds into a convex shape of globe. Dr. Roel added, “In PaperFold, each display tile can act independently or as part of a single system.  “It allows multiple device form factors, providing support for mobile tasks that require large screen real estate or keyboards on demand, while retaining an ultra-compact, ultra-thin and lightweight form factor.”

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