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Shapeshifting phone concepts to be demoed as Morphees, bringing in specs like 'shape resolution' and 'stretchability'

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Morphees prototypes

Morphees prototypes

There is a whole different world of possibilities that will open once flexible displays by the likes of Samsung, LG, Nokia and Sony, hit commercial devices. Samsung already introduced prototypes made with its flexible OLED technology at CES this January, and LG might even beat it to the punch with a retail device, while Sony and Nokia have also shown some shapeshifting panels.

The bendy phone concept, however, needs to be examined from a more philosophical perspective - what materials can be used, how will this change the interaction with our devices, what field for work opens in terms of innovative app development and so on. Now a researcher with the Bristol Interaction and Graphics group (University of Bristol, UK), with a background in the Human computer interaction lab at tje Hasso Plattner Institute, Germany, as well as a Ph.D in the Visualization and Advanced Interfaces group at Telecom ParisTech, has done just that.

Morphees concept designs

Morphees concept designs

Pretty stellar credentials for this type of work, as you can see, and her team came up with possible concepts for the design of the upcoming shapeshifting smartphones revolution, and has called them Morphees, which is a pretty cool name for the gang:

A Morphee is a self-actuated flexible mobile device that address the multiple affordance desired by any applications and transform itself into desired shapes. We envision that app stores can potentially evolve to give opportunities to developers to create practical applications with their specific form factors. We compare six actuation strategies of Morphees, five using advanced technologies in morphing materials: Dielectric Electro Active Polymers (DEAP) and Shape Memory Alloys (SMA).

We glanced over the topic when we reviewed the phone-human interaction future beyond touch, but this research is focusing on the bendable, rollable, splittable and so on phone concepts that will be made possible by new materials and new technologies, and how these novel design paradigms will alter the way we interact with out handsets. We will, of course, need new specs fields for such devices, and the researchers have concocted some of the new things that will have to be measured, like "shape resolution", "stretchability", "curvature", and even "porosity".

Check out some of the concepts in the video - these will be presented at the ongoing Computing and Human Intelligence Conference (CHI) 2013 expo - and if those catch your fancy, you can read the whole paper in the source link below.

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posted on 29 Apr 2013, 06:46 2

1. alterecho (Posts: 1099; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)

Nokia had such a concept in mind, way back in 2005~2006, with the Nokia 888:

posted on 29 Apr 2013, 08:05

2. Aeires (unregistered)

If anyone has seen the movie Red Planet, this is completely viable for tablets. Still don't see how they are going to get around the chips and battery for phones though.

posted on 29 Apr 2013, 08:56

3. clevername (Posts: 1436; Member since: 11 Jul 2008)

I think the best application we may see for this is a huge increase in durability. We don't necessarily need our phones to bend, but if they were made of a bendable material.. Say rubber, with plastic flexible screens, we wouldn't need to worry about dropping them. It would take a lot to scratch the body, and the screen wouldn't break.

posted on 29 Apr 2013, 17:33 1

4. BlueForce (Posts: 26; Member since: 02 Apr 2013)

The Geth are on their way.

posted on 29 Apr 2013, 18:16

5. cabuya (Posts: 41; Member since: 16 Jul 2012)

im for sure know that the future of cell phone will be on flexible screen but i still is way way to early to see a real full production phone maybe the first will be note 6

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