New developments in the creation of a bendable smartphone.


Many companies have experimented with the idea of bendable or foldable smartphones for a number of years. However due to an inflexible battery component it means that even curved screens are stuck within a hard shell case.


Academics at Queens University in Canada have designed a prototype smartphone called ReFlex. Believed to be the world’s first full-colour, high resolution and wireless flexible smartphone. The ReFlex can turn pages of an E-book and enhance game play on apps such as the popular Angry Birds simply by bending the ends of the phone.


The ReFlex is created with a 720p LG flexible OLED touch screen, powering the devices is an android ‘KitKat’ or 4.4 powered board with custom drivers and a haptic feedback motor which detects bending and movement and provides feedback, all placed within a non-flexible part beside the display. The sensors behind the display screen sense the force of bending and give data to the apps for use as input. The prototype also has voice coil which allows the phone to simulate forces and frictions through highly detailed vibrations on the display. This provides realistic simulations of physical force when interacting with virtual objects.


Just by bending down on the right corner of the phone the user can flip through pages of an e-book just like a regular book. You can even vary the speed at which the pages flip simply by how far you bend the phone. The reader is able to get the sensations of pages turning through the use of vibrations. Users can also use the bendable feature on the phone to slingshot an Angry Bird on the popular app, varying the distance and speed by the amount of bend. Creating a feature which not only looks impressive but also has function too, something which previous designs have failed to incorporate.


Along with playing games and reading, researchers of the ReFlex believe there will also be a range of greater uses such as helping the user to navigate through long lists of information on websites.

However don’t get too excited as researchers have also said it may take up to five years until the technology will be ready for commercial use.



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