Many applications that let you read ebooks on a tablet have a nice feature: when you tap the screen to turn the page, an animation mimics the way the page flips in a printed book. Now, researchers at Queen’s University’s Human Media Lab in Canada have developed a prototype smartphone that takes the concept a step further. They have demonstrated a smartphone that can be bent like a paperback book in order to quickly flick pages.
Take a look at the video that demonstrates how the flexible smartphone works:
Will this kind of device (smartphone, phablet, tablet, or ereader) be the future of reading ebooks? This is not a must-have feature, but like a gimmick that is nice to have. You can test your desire by asking yourself: Would I be willing to pay extra just to get this feature?
Anything mechanical that has moving parts on an electronic device makes the product more expensive, and multiplies the risks for breakdowns. Flexible screen has its use cases, but it is likely to be way more expensive than an ordinary OLED or LCD screen.
Researcher Roel Vertegaal told Independent: “This represents a completely new way of physical interaction with flexible smartphones. When a user plays the Angry Birds game with ReFlex, they bend the screen to stretch the sling shot. As the rubber band expands, users experience vibrations that simulate those of a real stretching rubber band. When released, the band snaps, sending a jolt through the phone and sending the bird flying across the screen.”