Paper-thin, flexible phone signals the future of mobile technology

Ever since their worldwide debut in the 1980's, Mobile phones have been getting smaller and thinner. It's a good thing, too, those first phones were quite literally the size of your average house brick. All that has changed and modern smartphones can be as thin as 8.7mm, such as with the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc. As impressive as this sounds, it's nothing compared to what researchers at Canada's Queen's University have come up with.

They're dubbing it the "Paperphone" and while it might not have all the features you have come to expect from your average smartphone, such as a color screen or a camera, it has one aspect that beats them all hands down - its size.

Not only is the device a fully functional phone, complete with voice and texting capabilities (in fact, if you look closely, you'll see that it's running Android), it is thin enough to fit inside a wallet. The Paperphone isn't just capable of being bent, it actually uses bending and flexing as a form of input.

Under the thin-film E-ink display is a printed circuit board that contains resistive bend sensors, which can be programmed to determine various bending gestures. This allows you to, for example, bend the top corner to turn a page or navigate a menu. They've even managed to squeeze in a fully functional Wacom tablet to allow for drawing directly on the screen as if it was a regular piece of paper.

Another Advantage the Paperphone has on smartphones is the battery life - when not in use, the Paperphone doesn't consume electricity and the E-ink display itself will consume very little, even with Active use.

Expect to hear more about the device at the ACM CHI in Vancouver later this year, but if you can't wait that long, head over to Gizmag for more information, as well as a Video of the device in Use.

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