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Canadian researchers developing multi-functional OLED smartphone

Canadian researchers developing multi-functional OLED smartphone

By BizLED Bureau

Feb 22, 2016: Human Media Lab researchers at a major Canadian university have developed the world’s first high-resolution, full-colour and wireless flexible smartphone. The device has been loaded with multitouch functionality and bend input. ReFlex, the name given to the OLED smartphone device, allows users to experience physical tactile feedback when interacting with their apps.

A senior executive at Human Media Lab stated that ‘this technology has changed the way of physical interaction with flexible smartphones. For example, the pages flip through the fingers from right to left when smartphone is bent down to right. In case of extreme bends, users will feel the sensation of pages through their fingertips.  This enables eye-free navigation.

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With HD 720p LG Display Flexible OLED touch screen powered by an Android 4.4, ReFlex has ‘KitKat’ mother board mounted to display side. ReFlex features a voice coil that allowing phone to simulate forces and friction with highly detailed vibrations of the display. Combined with the passive force feedback felt when bending the display, this allows for a highly realistic simulation of physical forces when interacting with virtual objects. Bend sensors behind the display sense the force with which a user bends the screen, which is made available to apps for use as input.

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When a user a game on smartphone ReFlex like Angry Birds, they bend the screen to stretch the sling shot. The users will experience vibrations that simulate those of a real stretching rubber band as the rubber band expands. When released, the band snaps, sending a jolt through the phone and sending the bird flying across the screen.”

The research team thinks bendable, flexible smartphones will be in use within five years as consumers are eagerly waiting for such marvels. University researchers will reveal the ReFlex prototype at the tenth anniversary Conference on Tangible Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI) conference in Eindhoven, The Netherlands on February 17th.

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