Technology

Flexible Smartphones May Be Coming Sooner Than You Think

2 min read
This story originally appeared on Engadget

Companies have been promising us futuristic, paper-like displays since forever, but so far we remain unimpressed.

The ReFlex, a prototype flexible smartphone from Queens University, is tantalizingly close to what we've been waiting for, though. To build it, the team mated a 720p flexible LG OLED display to bend sensors and haptic feedback motors. Powering the device is an Android 4.4-powered board, complete with custom drivers, placed in the non-flexible part beside the display.

Bending the device will flip through the pages of an ebook, and the more you bend, the faster it flips. In another example, you can play Angry Birds by bending the device to slingshot a bird, with the rubber bend stretching tighter as you flex it.

Thanks to the voice-coil haptic motors, you can precisely "feel" the pages flipping or the Angry Birds slingshot stretching out for a launch. The haptics also allow "eyes-free navigation, making it easier for users to keep track of where [you] are in a document," according to Queens Media Lab director Roel Vertegaal.

The researchers planned to show off the device at a human-computer interaction conference in the Netherlands, and believe commercial devices will be available within five years. Based on the convincing prototype, it doesn't seem impossible that the tech could arrive even sooner.

More from Entrepreneur

Are paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.
Get Your Quote Now

One-on-one online sessions with our experts can help you start a business, grow your business, build your brand, fundraise and more.
Book Your Session

Whether you are launching or growing a business, we have all the business tools you need to take your business to the next level, in one place.
Enroll Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.

3 Ways a Virtual Reality Pioneer Is Rebranding the Form