The smartphone in its current guise has been around for 10 years, and in that time it hasn\u2019t changed form-factor much\u2014a somewhat boring rectangular slab of plastic. Big deal.\nTen years, however, are eons in tech life. Therefore one could ask just why haven\u2019t smartphones morphed their shape in this decade of otherwise spectacular technological advancement? Have we really reached the pinnacle of communications tool design? More likely, a technical limitation.\nSamsung, though, is reportedly aiming to launch flexible devices soon, according to the Korea Herald. One of them is a \u201cbendable Virtual Reality device with a flexible OLED display that can be bent to cover a user\u2019s eyes completely,\u201d for example, it says.\nMicrosoft has recently filed a patent for a folding phone that turns into a tablet. It uses a kind of smart hinge, according to website Mspoweruser. That publication also says that LG is creating a flexible smartphone.\nIs flexible good enough though? Don\u2019t we really want morphing, stretchable smart tablets that expand from a strap-hanging, one handed commuter-use form-factor, to lean-back reading and media consumption copious sizes?\n\nLogically, stretchable-size screens would be the successor to the incumbent smartphone in the grand scheme of things\u2014all else is simply an incremental change.\nTechnical limitations in materials are the problem of course, though.\nThat will change soon, say engineering researchers at Michigan State University. They believe that a stretchy smart-fabric, that they\u2019ve designed, will be at the root of future screens and devices. And not only that, but that their rubber-band like future devices will be produced for pennies, using an ink-jet printer.\n\u201cStretchable thin-film transistors (TFTs) and integrated logic circuits directly printed on elastomeric polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) substrates,\u201d are behind the tech, the scientists say in a paper.\nRoughly, the way it works is that a smart fabric is created from organic and nanomaterials. The material is then dissolved to turn-out electronic inks. Those inks are used in the simple printer on elastic materials and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). Theoretically one ends up with a stretchable e-reader or tablet, or an inexpensive, mass produced flexible wrist monitor, for example. Wallpaper-like screens could conceivable cover expanses of wall too.\n\u201cOur work could soon lead to printed displays that can easily be stretched to larger sizes, as well as wearable electronics and soft robotics applications, scientist Chuan Wang, of the university, says in a press release.\n\u201cBoth TFTs and logic circuits can be stretched beyond 50 percent strain along either channel length or channel width directions for thousands of cycles,\u201d the paper says. All that \u201cwhile showing no significant degradation in electrical performance.\nThus far, they\u2019ve only gotten disparate parts created. But they reckon that within a couple of years they will have combined stretchable integrated circuits and OLEDs to create foldable and stretchy pixel-display screens.\nIn my travels I pack two or three screens at least\u2014laptop, smartphone and tablet. Even then I miss my extended dual display monitor from home base. I feel like the poster child for stretchable mobile devices.