Responsive, cheap touchscreens completely revolutionized the mobile device industry, and if Nokia has anything to say about it, flexible screens will revolutionize it all over again. At the Nokia World show, a flex-phone prototype, the “Nokia kinetic device,” as they call it, was on display and demoed. Not too surprisingly, it looks pretty sweet. The flex interface allows you to scroll by tweaking opposite ends up and down simultaneously and zooms in or out when you bend the center of the screen either forwards or backwards.
It is most definitely still a prototype, and no one at Nokia seems to want to talk about how it works or when it’d come out, but the tech has some interesting implications. It can work even if a user is wearing gloves, unlike touchscreens, and it makes for easier, one-unit-at-a-time scrolling. It could pose some interesting user interface challenges, but that’s how we get groundbreaking improvements. I’m not totally sure how I feel about the idea of a flex-phone, but I’d definitely want to mess around with one.
Video of the phone in use below. I think you’ll be surprised how natural the navigation seems.
- Now if only someone would bring tactile pixels to this party
- This device can turn the back of your hand into a touch pad
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