MorePhone: Revolutionary shape-changing phone curls upon a call (w/ Video)

Apr 29, 2013
The MorePhone, developed by Roel Vertegaal at Queen's University in Canada, will be launched at CHI2013 in Paris. Credit: Queen's Univesrity Human Media Lab

Researchers at Queen's University's Human Media Lab have developed a new smartphone – called MorePhone – which can morph its shape to give users a silent yet visual cue of an incoming phone call, text message or email.

"This is another step in the direction of radically new interaction techniques afforded by smartphones based on thin film, flexible display technologies" says Roel Vertegaal (School of Computing), director of the Human Media Lab at Queen's University who developed the flexible PaperPhone and PaperTab.

"Users are familiar with hearing their phone ring or feeling it vibrates in silent mode. One of the problems with current silent forms of notification is that users often miss notifications when not holding their phone. With MorePhone, they can leave their smartphone on the table and observe visual shape changes when someone is trying to contact them."

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

MorePhone is not a traditional . It is made of a thin, flexible display manufactured by – a British company and a world leader in . Sandwiched beneath the display are a number of wires that contract when the phone notifies the user. This allows the phone to either curl either its entire body, or up to three individual corners. Each corner can be tailored to convey a particular message. For example, users can set the top right corner of the MorePhone to bend when receiving a , and the bottom right corner when receiving an email. Corners can also repeatedly bend up and down to convey messages of greater urgency.

Dr. Vertegaal thinks bendable, flexible cell phones are the future and MorePhones could be in the hands of consumers within five to 10 years. Queen's researchers will unveil the prototype at the ACM CHI 2013 (Computer-Human Interaction) in Paris on April 29th. The annual conference is the world's premier conference on all aspects of human-computer interaction.

MorePhone was developed by Dr. Vertegaal and his School of Computer students Antonio Gomes and Andrea Nesbitt.

Explore further: Audi tests its A7 driverless vehicle on Florida highway

More information: www.hml.queensu.ca/morephone

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User comments : 5

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baudrunner
not rated yet Apr 29, 2013
You could wear a shape changing phone that squeezes your arm gently when a call is incoming. Or, a "call detector" could be worn separately from the phone itself. There's a fresh idea.
Mike_Massen
not rated yet Apr 29, 2013
:hmmm" Nitinol has been around for a rather long time.

Might I suggest it would be far more interesting if, when a call is coming in (and you want to be alerted), the phone stands itself up from a lying down position, now that would grab attention and not require any heating.

All you need is a simple reflex cantilever which runs off the same motor that provides the vibration ie. Just engage a gear via a miniature solenoid or better still run the vibration motor forward to 'vibrate' and in reverse to engage the reflex cantilever pawl :-)

You guys can have that one for free, I'm into something rather more challenging...

Cheers
canuckit
not rated yet Apr 29, 2013
The Human Media Lab at Queen's University should patent immediately this gadget before Apple steals it.
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (2) Apr 30, 2013
OK, they seem to have a different view of what is 'revolutionary' than me.

I'm sure this technology will have some applications (possibly in robotics where high forces aren't needed but rather a good shape fit is desired)...but in smartphones? I don't see that at all.
alfie_null
5 / 5 (2) Apr 30, 2013
... or are you just happy to see me?