This flexible screen could be the next big thing for smartphones

Researchers from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada have developed the first fully coloured touch-enabled flexible display.

Dubbed the “Reflex,” the phone’s basic hardware consists of a 720p display developed by LG coupled with a small phone processor running Android 4.4 “KitKat.”

But the Reflex’s marquee hardware feature is its “bend sensors,” which are mounted behind the display to give off tactile feedback. Roel Vertegaal, one of the directors at Queen’s University’s School of Computing describes how the feature can be used for reading ebooks or online magazines:

“When this smartphone is bent down on the right, pages flip through the fingers from right to left, just like they would in a book,” Vertegaal said. “More extreme bends speed up the page flips. Users can feel the sensation of the page moving through their fingertips via a detailed vibration of the phone. This allows eyes-free navigation, making it easier for users to keep track of where they are in a document.”

Vertegaal expects the technology to appear in consumer electronics within the next five years, and although this technology has been theorised before, there’s still something amazing about watching it in motion.

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