PaperPhone Flexible Smartphone Prototype, Responds To Touch And Bends

Earlier today we mentioned that E-Ink, the company behind those Amazon Kindle displays, have been busy working on new and improved E-Ink screens that can display full-color content. And with that, were some nifty videos of the E-Ink screens in action on various flexible materials including cloth and Tyvek. Well now we have some more nifty videos, but of E-Ink technology being harnessed by a group of researchers to produce a flexible smartphone dubbed the "PaperPhone."

The PaperPhone features advanced "thin-film" technology that allows it to be thin like a sheet of paper, but function as a smartphone that is operated by both touch and bending. It was developed by a collaborative effort between researchers at Queen's University in Ontario, Canada, and Arizona State University.

"This computer looks, feels, and operates like a small sheet of interactive paper," says Roel Vertegaal, the inventor and director of the Human Media Lab at Queen's University. "You interact with it by bending it into a cell phone, flipping the corner to turn pates, or writing on it with a pen."

It features a 9.5 cm diagonal E-ink display and can carry out the tasks of most smartphone such as making phone calls, storing and playing music, and accessing ebooks. Flipping pages in an ebook can be programmed such that you bend the PaperPhone much like you would an actual book. A myriad of touch and/or bend gestures can be programmed to carry out various functions.

Vertegaal believes that this is the future of computing as we head towards a truly paperless workflow, whether it be in offices, hospitals, or schools. He will be presenting the project on May 10th in Vancouver Canada to the Association of Computing Machinery's CHI 2011 conference, which is the premier international expo for the human-computer interaction field.

The first video below shows the PaperPhone in action, while the second video shows a modification of the technology in the form of a wristband computer called the Snaplet. It demonstrates the Snaplet being responsive to touch, bend, and even use with a stylus.

[via FP TechDesk]