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Canadian researchers debut flexible smartphone

updated 07:30 am EDT, Fri May 6, 2011

Prototype flexible PaperPhone makes its debut

Canadian researchers have debuted the PaperPhone (PDF), a prototype smartphone made from electronic paper. The fully functional smartphone can make and receive phone calls, send texts, play music and even display e-books. However, the device moves beyond accepting now familiar touch inputs, to trigger different functions according to the way it is handled. Bending it, folding it and flexing it at its corners or sides can control the phone's actions.

"Everything is going to look and feel like this within five years," said Dr Roel Vertegaal, the creator of the device. "This computer looks, feels and operates like a small sheet of interactive paper," Dr Vertegaal added. "You interact with it by bending it into a cell phone, flipping the corner to turn pages, or writing on it with a pen."

A collaboration between the Human Media Lab at Queen's University Canada and the Arizona State University, the device is only millimetres thick and is made from the same e-ink technology used in common e-readers.

The PaperPhone is on display May 10 at the Computer Human Interaction conference in Vancouver. [via BBC]



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