Researchers at Queen's University's Human Media Lab introduced what they call "the world's first full-colour, high-resolution and wireless flexible smartphone to combine multitouch with bend input." Named ReFlex, the phone works through bend gestures.

"When this smartphone is bent down on the right, pages flip through the fingers from right to left, just like they would in a book. More extreme bends speed up the page flips. Users can feel the sensation of the page moving through their fingertips via a detailed vibration of the phone. This allows eyes-free navigation, making it easier for users to keep track of where they are in a document," says Roel Vertegaal (School of Computing), director of the Human Media Lab at Queen's University.

The bendable ReFlex is based on a high definition 720p LG Display Flexible OLED touch screen powered by an Android 4.4 "KitKat" board, which is mounted to the side of the display. Behind the display there are bend sensors that sense the force with which a user bends the screen - the information they gather is made available and used by apps to form a response. 

"This allows for the most accurate physical simulation of interacting with virtual data possible on a smartphone today," says Dr. 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."

The bendable phone is still in its development stages and should be available to cuostomers in the next few years.

For more info on ReFlex, please visit www.hml.queensu.ca/reflex.

March 22, 2017 Living photo: Profimedia

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