The latest smartphones will become smarter and flexible. At Queen’s University’s in Canada, Human Media Lab Researchers have designed a flexible smartphone which is named as ReFlex that combines bend input technology with multitouch. It will allow users to receive tactile feedback while interacting with apps through bending gestures.
“This represents a completely new way of physical interaction with flexible smartphones” says Roel Vertegaal (School of Computing), director of the Human Media Lab at Queen’s University.
Users will be able to flip through pages just like a regular book by bending the smartphone. The more the phone is bent, the faster the pages will flip.
“Users can feel the sensation of the page moving through their fingertips via a detailed vibration of the phone,” adds Vertegaal. “This allows eyes-free navigation, making it easier for users to keep track of where they are in a document.”
The new ReFlex is based on a high definition 720p LG Display Flexible OLED touch screen powered by an Android 4.4 “KitKat” board mounted to the side of the display. When the users bend the screen, the bend sensors behind the display sense the force, which is available to apps for use as input.
The ReFlex will also come with feature of voice coil that allows smartphone to simulate forces and friction through highly detailed vibrations of the display providing users with a highly realistic simulation.
“This allows for the most accurate physical simulation of interacting with virtual data possible on a smartphone today,” says Vertegaal. “When a user plays the “Angry Birds” game with ReFlex, they bend the screen to stretch the sling shot. As the rubber band expands, users experience vibrations that simulate those of a real stretching rubber band. When released, the band snaps, sending a jolt through the phone and sending the bird flying across the screen.” See more at design-engineering.