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Are Roll-Up Screens Ready For Prime Time?

By Calgary Herald (Canada)

January 11, 2012

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Researchers at Queen's University's Human Media Lab have developed the Paper Phone, a flexible display that shows text, graphics, and media content. The Paper Phone can be folded, and accepts typed, touched, or penned user commands.

"This is the future," says Queen's professor Roel Vertegaal. "Everything is going to look and feel like this in five years."

Vertegaal calls the Paper Phone a computer that "looks, works, and feels like an interactive sheet of paper." The researchers believe that flexible screens will eventually become standard in many types of electronic devices, including large-screen TVs.

The current version of the Paper Phone measures about four inches, and its relatively slow refresh rate means it is not suitable for real-time animations. However, it does feature an interactive interface. For example, bending a corner of the screen generates a standardized command input.

The researchers say the first commercial applications of flexible screens will be smartphones, which will be followed by a flexible, transparent tablet computer. Tech manufacturers already have demonstrated a tablet-smartphone hybrid concept that can be rolled up like a newspaper.

From Calgary Herald (Canada)
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