Paper CellPhone?

Hey iPhone, there’s a new kid in town! Prof. Roel Vertegaal, director of Queen’s University’s Human Media Lab, will be presenting an interactive paper computer at the Association of Computing Machinery’s CHI conference next week in Vancouver. The paper phone will have many of the same capabilities as the iPhone such as making calls, reading books and playing music.

“We expect all phones to be like this within five to 10 years,” said Vertegaal.

Vertegaal describes the phone as similar to the feel of a conference badge. “The e ink screen is similar to what you find in the Kindle except this screen is flexible,” Vertegaal said of the 9.5-cm diagonal, thin-film flexible display screen. To maneuver through the phone you pinch the paper that has a layer sensing how it is bent. “Just curving the screen, it knows you want to make a phone call,” said Vertegaal.

Vertegall and his team created the device to show what is capable with today’s technology. Their team comprised of other researchers and developers will present the paper phone and show how various functions can be done by simply bending the phone in various ways.

Even though this prototype would take millions and millions and millions to take through to consumer use and purchase, “This is going to change everything,” said Vertegaal. “It is going to change the way we work with computers.”