Canadian researchers invent flexible phone that changes shape

The MorePhone, developed by Queen's University researchers, changes shape when it receives a...

The MorePhone, developed by Queen's University researchers, changes shape when it receives a message. (YouTube screengrab)

Elliot Ferguson, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:38 PM ET

KINGSTON, Ont. — Queen’s University researchers have designed a smartphone that changes shape when it receives a message.

The MorePhone, developed by researchers at the Human Media Lab, can curl along its ends and at its corners to alert users to a phone call, text message, e-mail or social media post.

The MorePhone is the next development of smartphone technology using thin, flexible displays previously developed at the Human Media Lab, said director Roel Vertegaal.

“This is a line of work in which we are basically looking at thinner and lighter computers that resemble paper,” Vertegaal said.

“Building on this line of research, we are very interested in examining other things that we can do with the very fact that these things are so thin and flexible.”

In 2011, the lab unveiled PaperPhone, a thin, flexible smartphone prototype.

Earlier this year, the lab released details about PaperTab, a paper-thin, flexible computer tablet.

MorePhone can curl its entire body or curl a single corner.

Users can assign the MorePhone’s actions to specific types of messages, Vertegaal said.

More urgent messages or alerts, such as telephone calls, can be assigned the full body curl, while text messages and e-mails can be assigned to specific corners, he said.

The actions would be useful when phones are set to silent or when the user cannot hear or feel traditional rings or vibrations.

“This is just the first step,” Vertegaal said. “This is the first time someone has done this, so I’m very excited.”

elliot.ferguson@sunmedia.ca

Twitter: @Elliotatthewhig


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