A research team at Queen's University went back to the past in order to look to the future. The team created a prototype of a new type of connected mobile product. Not exactly a tablet, and not really a phone (although it can make calls), the MagicScroll is a cylinder with a flexible touchscreen that rolls out as needed. Think of those movies where a Knight on horseback opens up a scroll that contains the King's latest proclamation.
The MagicScroll features a 7.5-inch flexible touchscreen with a 2K resolution that is rolled out of a cylinder created by a 3D printer. Components, such as the motherboard, are placed inside the cylinder. As we noted, the device can be used as a phone when the screen is rolled back up into the plastic housing. The product also is equipped with a camera, and can be set to spin or move around when a notification is received.
"We were inspired by the design of ancient scrolls because their form allows for a more natural, uninterrupted experience of long visual timelines. Another source of inspiration was the old rolodex filing systems that were used to store and browse contact cards. The MagicScroll’s scroll wheel allows for infinite scroll action for quick browsing through long lists. Unfolding the scroll is a tangible experience that gives a full screen view of the selected item. Picture browsing through your Instagram timeline, messages or LinkedIn contacts this way!"-Dr. Roel Vertegaal, Director, Human Media Labs
According to Dr. Roel Vertegaal, who is the Director of the University's Human Media Labs, the goal is to shrink down the device to the size of a pen so that it can be carried in a shirt pocket. Dr. Vertegaal also says that the project reveals that screens don't have to be flat, and that in the future, anything can be a screen. As a example, he said that a reusable coffee cup could be made from a screen that allows you to order your daily coffee before arriving at the coffee shop. In this manner, the Doctor says that the team is exploring how objects can become the apps.