Very cool BUT...
... flexible screens are the Fusion reactor of computing. "In 5 years..."
Flexible e-ink is, again, being heralded as the future of mobile computing, this time with navigation by manipulation of semi-rigid jabber-slablets, as well as grey-on-grey animated action. The revolution comes from boffins at Queens University, Ontario, who are demonstrating how flexible e-ink can create a computing surface …
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....of all those TV programmes from the '50s showing how glorious the future would be in the year 2000?
The one true, fixed attribute of the future is that it cannot be predicted at the micro level. And most of the macro predictions are wrong, too.
So, as per the title, ONLY the iPhone will be obsolete? That means all other brands of "stiff screen" based smart phones will not?
Again El Reg cheapens down what could have been a decent article by throwing the Apple equation in the story line.
Is this to grab the attention of fanbois or hatebois? Either way, I expected better.. really now..
Anyway, rest assure that ALL smart phone vendors will pick up on this technology when it's all polished off and cost effective unless 3D displays steal the show...
wow, you clearly need to take it easy. Many, many, many, many news sites use the word "iPhone" as a generic term for smartphones. Ok, so maybe you expect better of the reg (being a tech site), but really, calm down, take some deep breaths and think "is this sub specifically designed to anger all iPhone users, or am I just over-reacting?"
Look, the electronics can be somewhat flexible.... hmm flexible electronics ... flex-tronics? Now that would be a cool name for a company, no? :-P
The guts of the phone can be made small so even if not flexible, they don't take up a lot of real estate.
But its the batteries that power the device that will cause you the most problem.
Maybe they can design one that looks like a heavy watch band where each link in the wrist band is actually a battery and they are all connected in serial...?
(Patentable? Probably not since the battery tech isn't changed, just the size and case so no net new tech there....)
Also had a similar thing in mind for their phones, the screen pulls out of the side of the phone and snaps itself rigid.
Like the idea of effectively painting a TV onto the wall though. Imagine that with glasses free 3D at the same time and you effectively have a virtual window. Add angle recognition so if you walk upto it and "look down" you effectively look down out of the window and you can create a virtual scyscraper effect, so your humble living room in South Peckham now becomes a virtual New York penthouse. Or even a window on the ISS if you really want :)
The PDAs in those had flexible displays too, along with car-following video ads.
If they can do something about the terrible contrast ratio (akin to reading soy ink on cheap bleached newsprint - old school cheap'n'nasty paperbacks/comics) I'll think about buying one.
Possible killer apps for E-paper (when they get the contract ratio sorted) other than books:
Billboards, tube/bus shelter advertising displays (5-15,000 people in the printing industry immediately out of work)
Outboard status displays for your PC (USB or bluetooth updates?)
Supermarket shelf price displays (already happening) and similar applications.
Etch-a-sketch for execs.
The fake window sounds nice but they'd need a backlight. Oled will probably win that one, but McFly's roller blind will probably be embedded in the glass itself - the roller version will be for cheapskates (then again, that's McFly in the movie)
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"Many, many, many, many news sites use the word "iPhone" as a generic term for smartphones."
Which is still just as stupid. Are we going to start referring to computers as "Macs"? Or maybe we should refer to cameras as Quicktakes, or mp3 players as Zunes?
At least with say the Ipod for mp3 players, it's the market leader, but Apple are way behind in phones. If anything, we should be referring to Nokia phones (who are the market leader, both in phones, and in the ill-defined "smartphone" category - can you give me a definition of smartphone that includes the original Iphone, but doesn't include most feature phones?).
As for "relax" I see nothing about the OP that suggested he was angry. He was just pointing out a basic fact: there's no need to add an advertisement for Apple, when the story has nothing to do with them (although at least for once, it's a negative advert).
We already have a word for these kinds of devices - it's called a phone. What's wrong with that?
A possible use for it could be as a display for, and indeed *as*, a pressure cuff (or sphygmomanometer) seeing as that's exactly what it looks like.
This comment was an excuse to write - and verbalise while doing so - the word sphygmomanometer; which is a banquet of articulation.
(mine's the one with the tongue-splint in the pocket)
What a horrifying prospect.
I can see it now:
2016: "Now children, I'm your new History teacher. Today we are going to learn about how horrible life was in 2011. You see most things in 2011 had a kind of solid quality to them, so you could easily poke your eye out with them. Yes that is very dangerous and kids were all very blind in 2011. But thanks to Our Government, solid objects have been deprecated and replaced with the lovely flexible versions you are using now. You see kids, pencils didn't always used to bend and flop around like they do now. They used to be VERY dangerous, you could poke your eye out with a pencil. Yes, all the way out. That happened all the time in 2011. Now kids, your homework is to go to Wikipedia and print off the article named "pencil eye stabbing incidents in 2011". Remember not to change the text at all, you will lose marks if you use your own words."
As far as I'm concerned, we cannot call ourselves an advanced civilisation until everything is soft and wobbly enough that we can all just throw ourselves around the place with gay abandon while engaged in any other activity, without getting hurt. We can spend all day zorbing without the big polythene ball, and amidst such mass ecstasy man will never care to make war again.
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