Queen’s University’s Human Media Lab and Arizona State University’s Motivational Environments Research Group have created a paper smartphone – called, ingeniously, PaperPhone – with all the functionality as the bulkier versions in our pockets. “This is the future, everything is going to look and feel like this within five years,” creator and director of the lab Roel Vertegaal says. “This computer looks, feels and operates like a small sheet of interactive paper. You interact with it by bending it into a cell phone, flipping the corner to turn pages, or writing on it with a pen.”
Unlike the rigid nature of Apple’s iPhone, the PaperPhone is actually flexible. The device comes with a 3.7 inch flexible E Ink display that lets users bend the phone to perform certain tasks. Sensors on the back record your choice of “gestures” to help you navigate through your information quickly. Roel Vertegaal, Director of Queen's University Human Media Lab said that the phone “does everything a smartphone does, like store books, play music or make phone calls.” And like it’s E Ink cousin the Kindle, PaperPhone doesn’t use any energy when it’s not in use.
While the PaperPhone may have a huge impact on the smartphone industry, it may make an ever bigger splash in the workplace. Since users can actually write on the screen, larger versions could mean that an office could really be paper-free. Super-sized versions of the PaperPhone could replace legal pads, sticky notes, copy paper, and printers. Dr. Roel Vertegaal, director of the Queen's Human Media Lab said.