Check out the completely flexible, modular PaperFold smart-device prototype on video

The Human Media Lab (HML) at Queen's University in Canada posted a new video of its foldable, flexible, modular, and very prototype-ey smartphone project. The PaperFold lets users fold open up to three flexible electrophoretic displays to provide extra screen real estate when needed. Displays are detachable such that users can fold the device into various shapes that can range from an ultra notebook shape to a fold-out map.

Although it may look like it doesn't do much due to its frugal e-ink display, the PaperFold is already capable of tricks that would make today's mobile devices envious. The device automatically recognizes its shape and changes its interface to provide different functionality according to its position. For example, folding PaperFold into ultrabook mode puts a keyboard on the bottom screen and outputs images on the top screen. Laying the displays flat launches Google Maps, effectively turning the device into a tabletop world map. Most incredibly, folding the PaperFold into the shape of a building from Google's 3D flyover maps "picks up" a Google SketchUp model of the building that's available for 3D-printing.

The HML's director, Dr. Vertegaal, explained that his team is looking after modelling the versatile qualities of traditional paper into electronic devices. "PaperFold demonstrates how form could equal function in malleable mobile devices." - explained the scientist. Although it's in its early stages, the technology definitely shows a promising start. If anything, perhaps foldable e-ink displays will completely replace newspapers someday.

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source: HML via Digital Trends

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