Reasearchers develop a flexible smartphone that you bend to operate

We’ve heard news stories about flexible devices for years now, right from the early days of e-ink prototypes, but nothing has really caught our imagination until now. Researchers from Queens University have just come pretty darn close, with a flexible smartphone design.


The ReFlex is a prototype that uses a 720p flexible LG OLED display with bend sensors and haptic feedback bumpers. Running on Android 4.4 with custom drivers built for the experiment, the result is a smartphone that you bend to control, instead of using the touchscreen.

The demo places a virtual book on the screen, similar to what you might have in your Kindle app (or similar readers). However, instead of touching a button or swiping to have the next page slide into place, you can grip the edges of the phone and twist it, just like you might a paperback. Do this, and you’re rewarded with a realistic view of the pages flipping by. And thanks to the haptic feedback, you’ll feel those pages brush past your fingers too.
Check out the video below to get a real feel for it. And with a prototype this smooth already in place, it might only be a matter of time before smartphone bend tests are a thing of the past.