Nokia flexible cellphone patent app makes for bendy UI

Jan 18, 2010
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It's been a few years since Nokia showed off their Morph concept cellphone, but the company have obviously been thinking about the potential of bendy handsets ever since.  A patent application entitled "User interface, device and method for a physically flexible device" has just emerged, in which bending a handset into various shapes could trigger shortcuts.  For instance, shaping the handset like a can might kick off a search for nearby pubs or particular franchises; make a bowl shape, meanwhile, and the phone would search for your favorite restaurants.

Since there are only so many ways you can bend a phone, no matter how flexible, Nokia have introduced a further modifier in the shape of motion-recognition.  Make the can shape and tilt it to your lips and the handset might search for nearby pubs; roll it like a wheel, however, and it could look for the closest gas station (or, indeed, a specific franchise of gas station which operate the loyalty scheme you're a member of).

Alternatively the handset could assign different modifiers to different corners being bent initially, or indeed the position, angle, speed or sharpness of the bend.  More simply, the point at which the phone is bent could be used to select on-screen graphics rather than requiring a traditional touchscreen; that could be useful for those operating the handset while wearing gloves.  Of course, despite flexible OLED panels being available, it's unclear quite how long they might last in Nokia's bendy vision of the future.

[via Go Rumors]


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