Future Smartphones May Be as Thin as Paper

Forget the conventional sleekness of contemporary leading smartphones. The future of mobile computing and smartphone technologies could very well make the slim mobile phones of today soon look like unwieldy behemoths.

Next week at the Association for Computing Machinery’s Computer Human Interaction conference in Vancouver, researchers will unveil an unprecedented prototype that’s being called a “paper iPhone.”

According to creator Roel Vertegaal, director of Queen’s University Human Media Lab, the PaperPhone – yes, that’s its actual name – is a “pocket-sized computer as thin and flexible as a sheet of paper is.”

For now, a lone prototype of the smartphone exists, but those behind its design say it may ultimately “revolutionize the way we interact with computers.”

The PaperPhone is described as “a flexible version of e-ink, the digital ink screen found in e-readers such as the Amazon Kindle.”

The PaperPhone’s creators, however, say that the widespread mass market introduction of such a device is probably close to a decade away.

“This computer looks, feels and operates like a small sheet of interactive paper,” said Vertegaal. “You interact with it by bending it into a cell phone, flipping the corner to turn pages, or writing on it with a pen.”

To see how the PaperPhone works, check out the brief demonstration video posted below.