In this fast changing world flexibility is an advantage, to bend and not break. Scientists have finally combined all of the flexible technologies – flexible display, flexible computer, flexible electronics – with bend sensors that enable bend gestures. This is truly interactive paper, not just interactive pixels. Scientists from the Human Media Lab at Canada’s Queens University have developed the natural extension to the flexible computer, the flexible interface. Called the PaperPhone – even though its made of plastic and is more computer than phone – this prototype is the first device to bring all of the technologies together. Combining all of the functionality of a smart phone – very basic though – into a sheet of plastic with bend sensors, the future is here.
A number of standard gestures have been created, bend the corner of the page just as you do when turning a book’s page and the e-book turns the page or bend two edges to switch task. If the standard gestures aren’t enough the PaperPhone can be trained to recognize new gestures, then perform actions in response to the gestures. The current PaperPhone combines the kinds of interaction we are used to, tactile input like touch screens, pen input, touch screen gestures as well as adding the new layer of interaction, the bend. This is a complimentary technology to the existing standards and may well be the future of gadget input.