Over the past years new technology which involve the use of E-Ink displays have been on the rise. A group at Queen University, in Canada, have developed the first E-Ink inspired bendable smartphone, nicknamed the PaperPhone. The device is still in a prototype state but the group is hinting that bendable E-Ink smartphones will be quite common in the near future.
Video of the device in action after the break.E-Ink devices have been on the rise since the launch of E-Readers to the consumer market. E-Ink displays have been welcomed with open arms over most LCD’s when it comes to reading text. One of the main advantages they have is that the E-Ink is the closest replica to reading an actual book. Typical LCD screens cause eye strains when used over long periods of time, while E-Ink displays are very soothing and allow the user to longer periods of viewing time without causing any health concerns. In addition, E-Ink displays do not use much battery consumption with regular use and it only consumes power when the image on the display changes. This allows for E-Ink devices to be used for a week or more at a time without needing to recharge.
As you can see from the video below, the prototype is running the Android OS, but the the technology can easily be adapted to other Operating Systems. The developers do state that the device is capable of performing everything a conventional smartphone is able to accomplish, such as playing music, reading ebooks, and even making phone calls. Video is yet to be seen on the prototype, but with current advances in E-Ink technology video playback could be implemented without much additional undertaking. The main feature of the device, despite the E-Ink display, is that the input control functions through the bending of the actual screen. Depending on how and where you bend the screen, different gestures will be captured and activate different responses through the OS.
While the prototype display currently does need an external mechanism to function, flexible displays in phones can certainly be functional and realistic. Especially with the thickness of phones greatly decreasing with every new iteration, bendable displays will allow manufacturers to go one step further. In addition to slimmer proportions, phones could also now contour to the space available or even your body. Phones can be easily stored away in your pocket without the fear of it breaking when sat on. The possibilities are vast and with Moore’s law in constant effect the technology and the potential of new idea’s will be revolutionary.