Flexible phone screens were once revered for the imagination of sci-fi fans, but the technology is now a reality and we are now one step closer to getting the technology in our pockets thanks to this new prototype.
The ReFlex phone, created by Queen’s University researchers, is the world’s first flexible smartphone that offers a full colour, high-resolution display along with wireless technology.
It’s just a prototype for now but it sports a 720p LG Display Flexible OLED touchscreen and runs Android 4.4 KitKat software.
The part where it gets interesting is the bend sensors on the back of the display that measure how hard you’re bending. Different apps are then set up to feel the pressure and react differently.
It means you can flick through a book in a lifelike way than using your finger or you can bend the phone to pull back the firing mechanism in Angry Birds.
The future is coming
Roel Vertegaal, director of the Human Media Lab at Queen’s University said, “This represents a completely new way of physical interaction with flexible smartphones
“This allows for the most accurate physical simulation of interacting with virtual data possible on a smartphone today.
“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 main example is with Angry Birds, but this technology could be applied to a number of different apps and could offer real functionality when flexible screens become a more popular technology.
It’s going to still be quite sometime until we see truly flexible phones up for sale, but if you look at how far the technology has come since the LG G Flex in 2013, it shows how quickly the market is moving.