Smartphones become more and more innovative as months go by. The need to hit the market with something novel and spectacular is growing more and more. Specs are no longer enough. The design has to amaze you as well. As a result, the Paperfold Smartphone comes with three E-ink displays that can perform different functions at the same time.
The Paperfold is described as a multi-display, shape-changing smartphone. Its three E-Ink displays can be combined in different shapes. The inspiration for this device comes, as its name says, from classic paper. Seeing as paper can be folded, detached or combined, the designers of the Paperfold smartphone aimed to do the same with their creation. Content that needs to be scrolled on normal smartphones can be viewed in one go on the Paperfold.
Dr. Roel Vertegaal, a Queen’s professor and Director of the Human Media Lab, the ones behind the design of this device, explained that: “The PaperFold smartphone adopts folding techniques that makes paper so versatile, and employs them to change views or functionality of a smartphone, as well as alter its screen real estate in a flexible manner. PaperFold demonstrates how form could equal function in malleable mobile devices.”
The Paperfold smartphone comes with magnetic hinges. These hinges are able to determine where and when displays have been added or removed. In this way they alter the content that is being displayed in a dynamic way. For example, when using Google Maps, the map can be showed over the three displays when folded like a paper map. If the map is arranged as a convex globe shape, the display will automatically change to Google Earth.
The prototype will be presented at the ACM CHI 2014 conference taking place at Toronto. Unfortunately, at the moment, there are no plans to start comercial production for the Paperfold smartphone. What do you think of this new device?