The PaperPhone – A bendable phone thinner than a credit card

Paper Thin , Paper flexible phone is believed to be the next logical evolution of the current smart phones. But is this still a wishful thinking, OR will we be able to buy a paper thin- flexible phone in the next five years.

Courtesy the efforts of a bunch of Canadian researchers Paper smart phone can indeed become a reality in next couple of years.

A group of Canadian researchers have invented a smartphone prototype which is paper-thin, flexible and has a low-powered e-ink touchscreen display (Amazon’s Kindle uses an e-Ink technology). The smartphone can be rolled up to fit into your wallet.

The researchers plan to officially unveil the PaperPhone at the Association of Computing Machinery's CHI 2011 in Vancouver, Canada.

According to researchers, the PaperPhone prototype gives the world a glimpse of what the smartphones will look like within next five years. The PaperPhone, looks, feels and operates like a small sheet of interactive paper. A user interacts with it by bending it into a cell phone, flipping the corner to turn pages, or writing on it with a pen. To take inputs, the phone uses bending instead of push buttons. A user has to bend the phone to navigate; bend the phone’s both sides to open up an application; and twist the top right corner, to go to the next page.

Developed to perform absolutely everything a normal smartphone can do. PaperPhone can store e-books, play music, make phone calls, etc. The futuristic phone is as thin as a credit card and is much more flexible than one. It has a 9.5 cm diagonal screen and is one-sixth the weight of Apple's iPhone4. It’s much robust than Apple’s iPhone4 as well. According to the lead researcher, the PaperPhone can even work normally after being hit with a hammer.

In addition, the prototype is designed to use less electricity to charge itself.

But, the prototype has still some scope for improvements, which is quite expected. Like, the flexible board circuit was used for the bendable input and power only, the processor and other rigid electronics had to be attached via an external handle to the phone. Pricing can be another issue. The prototype alone costs about $7000-$10000 to produce.

But the researchers are quite optimistic about-- the bendable, wallet fitting smartphone – saying that price won't be an issue in the next 10 years or so since the product will eventually go mainstream. --------

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