Plain old paper inspires foldable smartphone prototype

Queen's University shows off PaperFold smartphone

Never mind all those curvy smartphones and devices that have grabbed headlines and sparked rumors in recent months: Queen's University researchers last week showed off a prototype of a smartphone called PaperFold that morphs into all sorts of shapes.

This shape shifter can fold open up to three flexible electrophorectic displays to make easier reading and searching of say, Google Maps. The displays can even be folded into 3D shapes for architectural applications.

Queen’s Human Media Lab director and professor Roel Vertegaal and student Antonio Gomes unveiled PaperFold at the Association for Computing Machinery CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Toronto. As Vertegaal explains, each of 3 displays can act on its own or as part of a unit, recognizing its shape and retrofitting its graphics. You can read the team's paper on PaperFold here.

“It allows multiple device form factors, providing support for mobile tasks that require large screen real estate or keyboards on demand, while retaining an ultra-compact, ultra-thin and lightweight form factor," he says, in a statement.

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