Researchers at Queen’s University in Canada and Arizona State University have collaborated to create a fully-functioning E-Ink smartphone they’re calling a “paper computer.” It’s a thin sheet of plastic that has an electronic ink display and that responds to bending gestures on the plastic. You can even write on it using a pen (the ink wipes off).
The Paperphone is, a spokesman says, the future. “Everything is going to look and feel like this within five years.”
The computer is almost literally an interactive sheet of plastic paper. When reading books, for instances, you can “bend” the corner as if turning a page and it will do so. When sending messages, you can write on it with a pen to write the messages. When you want to make a call, you bend it into a concave shape and it loads up the phone interface.
The device is about 3.74 inches of display space (E-Ink) which has a flexible printed circuit underneath that includes resistive bend sensors to react to the bending gestures. Best of all, when it’s not being used, the phone literally uses no power (thanks to the E-Ink).
The team created a similar device they call the Snaplet which can be worn as a large watch and then when its shape is changed, it changes function to a phone, a PDA, etc.
Very cool stuff! Here’s video: