Bend It like Reflex, the World’s First Flexible Smartphone

February 19, 2016, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Everyone would like to have a flexible smartphone in their hands. Not just that it can free us all from the ‘bendgate’ worries, it can also be amusing. Now, a group of researchers from Canada are providing bigger reasons for having a flexible smartphone.

Researchers from Queen’s University Human Media Lab have now revealed the prototype of what can be called the world’s first flexible smartphone, called ReFlex. The device seems aptly named, as re-flexing this device takes you to a new level of control over your smartphones.

The display used here is the bendable 6-inch 720 x 1280 Flexible-OLED screen from LG that comes with multi-touch support. But you may not have to use the touch like in other smartphones, as ReFlex brings control over many apps and functions by just having the device bent, thanks to the integration of bend sensors along with the display that can measure precisely to what extent the device is being bent.

Some of the stunning functionalities of the bend-control have been displayed in a video, which shows how realistic it can be to read an e-book in ReFlex. You just have to bend your smartphone to have the pages turned over, and the extent at which you make the bend decides at what pace the pages gets turned over.

Another application is in the games department, where you would be able to bring precise control in certain games, also letting you have a new and realistic feel in those games. This is also made possible with the use of a voice coil, which can be used to trigger stimulated forces and friction through the display vibrations.

The prototype of the device was revealed during the tenth anniversary Conference on Tangible Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI).  The displayed device ran Android 4.4 KitKat OS in it. There’s no word on when the device will be put for commercial production.

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