‘Flexing’ phone changes shape when receiving texts

A new prototype being developed by Canadian researchers could ensure mobile users never miss a text message again, queensu.ca reports.

Whilst the likes of Apple, Samsung and LG are reported to be working on new devices with flexible screens, a group of researchers from the Human Media Lab of Queens University have come up with a prototype that could put their efforts into the shade.

Dubbed ‘MorePhone’, the device can arch or bend whenever a phone call, text message or email is received. This is achieved through the use of alloy wires connected to the back of the device which cause its flexible plastic body to contort. These contortions can then be represented either by individual corners of the phone flexing or an entire ‘arching’ of the phone off the surface it’s resting upon.

Furthermore, it is possible to customise the device for each user and ascribe different actions to each notification.

Developers have hoped that their prototype could forge the way in new telephones which offer much more noticeable physical notifications for users and halt the current situation where calls or messages can be easily missed. It could also prove useful for brands using mobile marketing as it ensures their messages get through straight away, even if the user is out walking or is listening to music.

“This is another step in the direction of radically new interaction techniques afforded by smartphones based on thin film, flexible display technologies,” developer Roel Vertegaal told ibtimes.com.

“One of the problems with current, silent forms of notification is that users often miss [them] when not holding their phones. With MorePhone, they can leave their smartphone on the table and observe visual shape changes when someone is trying to contact them.”