When Google unveiled the prototype for its Project Glass
initiative last week, it became clearer than ever that technology is still being fashioned to accommodate needs that many don’t yet realize they have. And while it’s hard to envision folding one’s iPhone in half, the bitter experience of damaging expensive gadgetry is inspiring companies to design devices made of more pliable materials.
LG EPD E-Reader:
For traditionalists, standard e-readers don’t compare
to turning the pages of a paperback. LG
, having taken note, is launching the world’s first plastic electronic paper display (EPD) for e-books
. The flexible tablet can bend as much as 40 degrees from the center, is one-third the thickness and one-half the weight of an average glass display, and mimics the look and feel of traditional newspapers and books. Especially beneficial for readers with fumbling fingers, the durable six-inch device was put through break and scratch testing with a urethane hammer, withstanding repeated hits and a five foot drop. Of course, the abuse of a dog or toddler may be another story.
Samsung Flexible Tablet: Samsung’s Mobile Display
division gained wide attention after releasing a video
showcasing an ultra-thin, transparent and bendable concept computer. Considered a tablet-smartphone hybrid, it uses a flexible AMOLED
touchscreen that allows it to be rolled up like a newspaper or bent to accommodate specific tasks and tight spaces. The transparent device can also be used as a gesture-controlled digital magazine, e-reader, camera, video chat system and real-time interpreter. Furthermore, the video highlights the remarkable ability to display 3D images on its integrated augmented reality system. Although it’s just a workable prototype for now, it could hit the market by later this year
Touchscreen specialist Amtel
, best known for its Galaxy Note
and Galaxy Tab
devices, has created an innovative, flexible, film-based touch sensor sheet known as XSense
. Made without edges, bezels or casing, the curved ultra-thin contact receptors can be bent and contorted to fit any shape while maintaining the screen’s image and touch accuracy. While the XSense film would be an obvious fit for smartphones, Ultrabooks
and tablets, the versatile invention has endless application possibilities ranging from unique touchscreen wristwatches to an all-around coffee-maker display. Amtel is in the process of finding manufacturing partners, but plans to have the receptors available by the end of this year.