Twenty years ago, I think most of figured we’d be living like the Jetsons by now. But flying cars are few and far between, and the closest thing we have to our own personal robot maid is the Roomba vacuum.

However, there is some neat stuff on the horizon, and this prototype by Roel Vertegaal is certainly proof of that. He is debuting his “Paper Phone” at the Association for Computing Machinery’s Computer Human Interaction conference next week. Folks planning to be in attendance should preset their faces to stunned…

According to ModMyi, the device is scheduled to be unveiled at the May 10th Vancouver event. Its creator, who also happens to be the director of Queen’s University Human Media Lab, says that the Paper phone is a “pocket-sized computer as thin and flexible as a sheet of paper is.”

You can interact with the device by bending it, flipping the corner to turn pages, or writing on it with a pen. While the technology seems cool, it’s still far from being ready to implement in consumer products. Currently there is only one prototype of the Paper phone device.

From the looks of the video it is running an older version of Android software, but I believe this could be used in several instances (interactive newspapers or maps anyone?). While I like that the device is so thin, I can’t see ‘bending’ as a fluid form of input. It’ll be interesting to see how this technology takes shape (no pun intended).

What do you think?

  • Ade Aderinto

    I don’t see the advantage in this with ability to bend etc.
    And i also suspect that it’s thinness will be more a disadvantage than a plus. But then again, u never know.

  • beowulf

    I can see a use for “bend gestures” for changing display dynamics based on device configuration. For instance, the display would automatically adjust when you go from using it flat while sitting at a desk, to having it wrapped around your arm when you’re on the go. In the wrapped configuration, the device would need to optimize the warped display for readability. But as far as the examples shown in the video, it’s just easier and more intuitive to use touch/swipe gestures. When I want to turn the page in a real book, I don’t bend the page, I swipe. When I want to make a phone call on a desk-bound phone, I don’t bend it. It’s kind of like creating a screwdriver that requires you to hit it with a hammer to turn it.

    • Burge

      Your screwdriver that you are on about does exist …it’s called a impact drive…it when a screw just will no undo you use the drive and hit it with a hammer which in turn turns the head round on the drive and turns the screw..sorry for being geeky …

      • Adam

        Haha! I was going to say that…

  • Alex

    I agree… swipe is better than bend. Maybe we’ll get a flexible iPad in the future. Interesting.

  • Jester

    why the funk wud i want to keep bending my device, that’s just stupid

  • Burge

    This sort of hardware is no where near ready ..do you see the great big fucking cable on the side ? That fucker is plugged in to a pc…
    All he had was a control panel that was able to bend to send actions to the pc , which in turn gave the screen the end result of the control..I can just see it now the worlds thinest phone.. But it got a power sauce and a iPad size pc to run it ….

  • Will

    What a load of shit!

  • James

    What if it leaks?

  • All well and good but I bet there isn’t a substance on this earth
    That can take years of bending without it warping or ripping or cracking

    Good idea I like it

  • All well and good but I bet there isn’t a substance on this earth
    That can take years of bending without it warping or ripping or cracking
    Good idea I like it

  • c0edx

    Check this out a papaer TV http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6bkmPjVF-k

  • c0edx

    Sorry *paper

  • Jj

    The LCD is already bad. U can see the vertical white lines.

  • How can wipe the ass?
    That is question.

    • James

      That would be expensive toilet paper!

  • Not sure how well this would work In Reality. Don’t forget phones require batteries that are stiff and not flexible, theres antennas, a motor for vibrating, camera sensors. All these are not flexible. The screen idea is cool but not practical with what’s available now. Many advancements would need to be done before implanting this into any kind of cellphone form factor.

  • c0edx

    It’s a stupid project that their working on. No company will pick that crap up. Why the he’ll would I want a paper phone. I’m having trubel holding on to my iPhone 4.

  • FREAK

    It’s a stupid project that their working on. No company will pick this crap up. Why the he’ll would I want a paper phone. I’m having trubel holding on to my iPhone 4.

  • mripod64

    I think this is pretty cool, think of news papers being like this? id buy one 😛
    looks like its running a version of Android though..

  • DamnShame

    Its a damn shame how people like to talk shit about how certain stuff they see is “crap” ie this display. All of a sudden a paper thin display comes out with cool pactical features n they are over there riding the makers dick over it. Ppl, products aren’t just shitted out of the makers ass lookin great and working perfect. Ur mom didn’t shit you out look and actin perfect lol. By the way Happy early mothers day to all da milfs that stop by IDB.
    SMH This world (us) is full of ignorant HATERS
    Jkjk but really u guys need 2 stop dissin everything u see it gets old quick

    Then again this is all just MY opinion and nobody asked for it

    sooo Fuck Off!!! 🙂

  • DamnShame

    Its a damn shame how people like to talk shit about how certain stuff they see is “crap” ie this display. All of a sudden a paper thin display comes out with cool pactical features n they are over there riding the makers dick over it. Ppl, products aren’t just shitted out of the makers ass lookin great and working perfect. Ur mom didn’t shit you out look and actin perfect lol. By the way Happy early mothers day to all da milfs that stop by IDB.
    SMH This world (us) is full of ignorant HATERS
    Jkjk but really u guys need 2 stop dissin everything u see it gets old quick

    Then again this is all just MY opinion and nobody asked for it

    sooo Fu*k Off!!! 🙂

  • DamnShame

    Sry meant fuck off

  • bc

    I’m confused, you can clearly see in the video that it is not made of paper, nor is it as thin as paper. Why are they calling it a paper phone? As far as the interface, how on earth is bending that thing better than tapping a screen. It’s taking him a couple of seconds to input a single command, whereas tapping a screen takes a fraction of a second.

    It is new and different, but HOW IS THIS BETTER?

    • bc

      On top of what I’ve already mentioned, bending the screen obviously affects your ability to look at the screen. See the glare introduced from bending it? Just impractical in so many ways.

  • Nikola

    Just like Earth – Final Conflict

  • Casio

    I would use it to pick food out of my teeth…in the future.