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Flexible Phones 'Out By 2013'

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the now-if-they-can-only-make-phones-into-snap-bracelets dept.

Cellphones 152

dryriver sends this quote from a BBC report: "Imagine treating your phone like a piece of paper. Roll it up. Drop it. Squish it in your backpack. Step on it — without any damage. Researchers are working on just such handsets — razor-thin, paper-like and bendable. There have already been prototypes, attracting crowds at gadget shows. But rumors abound that next year will see the launch of the first bendy phone. Numerous companies are working on the technology — LG, Philips, Sharp, Sony and Nokia among them — although reports suggest that South Korean phone manufacturer Samsung will be the first to deliver. Samsung favors smartphones with so-called flexible OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) technology, and is confident that they will be 'very popular among consumers worldwide.' Their screens will be 'foldable, rollable, wearable and more, [and] will allow for a high degree of durability through their use of a plastic substrate that is thinner, lighter and more flexible than conventional LCD technology,' says a Samsung spokesperson.'"

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By 2013? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42140805)

Better hope it's not 28 days delivery.

Not interested (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42140807)

It "sounds" like a good idea, but honestly it isn't, it's just a worthless hyped up feature that weak minded people will buy into. Flexible phone? Keep it.

Re:Not interested (3, Interesting)

somersault (912633) | about a year and a half ago | (#42140829)

I've cracked the screen on my last 2 phones because of the stupid "gorilla glass". A flexible phone would be much more impervious to damage from being chucked around (accidentally or otherwise). I don't see how it's "weak minded" of me to want a more durable phone, while retaining the benefits of a smart phone.

Re:Not interested (1)

aurispector (530273) | about a year and a half ago | (#42140867)

No more worry about cracked screens would be great. However there is a limit on utility that defines the form factor - we WANT big screens but it can't be too big or it's clumsy. I don't need a phone that rolls up - the new ones are flat enough to be unobtrusive.

Thinner and lighter are always nice, but damage resistance and battery life are bigger concerns.

Re:Not interested (2, Insightful)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141101)

Thinner and lighter are always nice

I submit there is a point at where a device can be too light and thin with the way we need to interact with them. For me, the critiques over the iPhone 5 were right; it is too light. I would fumble that all around, though if it was flexible, perhaps it wouldn't matter but it seems you're just trading one problem for another. (That and call me when batteries become paper thin, let alone electrical contacts that are still good after being flexed a few tens of thousand times.)

Re:Not interested (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42140929)

I've cracked the screen on my last 2 phones because of the stupid "gorilla glass"...

No, you cracked the screen on your last 2 phones because you are careless, so much so that they cracked in spite of being made of gorilla glass.

Re:Not interested (1)

somersault (912633) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141005)

Gorrilla glass is very hard, but as is the way with these things, it is also quite brittle.

It's true that I was careless to an extent in both situations (though I was exercising care the first time, just apparently not enough.. and it cracked after only falling 30cm), but that doesn't change the fact that I could do with a more durable phone. I don't just sit around on the computer all day, I quite often go outside and enjoy doing Parkour. Now usually my phone is in my bag when I do that, but if I happen to randomly want to vault a fence while out in "normal" mode, that's when things sometimes slip out of my pocket.

Re:Not interested (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141137)

It's true that I was careless to an extent in both situations (though I was exercising care the first time, just apparently not enough.. and it cracked after only falling 30cm),

They make rubber 'phone covers for people like you. They cost about $0.99 each...

Re:Not interested (1)

somersault (912633) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141239)

Yup and I actually had one for my last phone, but I took it out to test something :p

Re:Not interested (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141315)

Lesson learned...? [ebay.com]

Re:Not interested (5, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141011)

No, you cracked the screen on your last 2 phones because you are careless, so much so that they cracked in spite of being made of gorilla glass.

I know people like this. Occasional accidents happen to everyone. Frequent and repeated damage is not an accident. Those who frequently smash gorilla glass will end up destroying a floppy phone just as quick. Oops, I dropped it in a blender. Oops, I dropped it on a burning grill.

Re:Not interested (1)

somersault (912633) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141099)

The only times I've dropped my phone have been Parkour related incidents. Though the first one was just moving my speakers, and it somehow managed to work its way loose from the groove it was placed in at the top. The second was my own fault, as I'd taken it out of its case and so it was slidier than usual and fell straight out of my pocket..

Indoors I always have my phone on a desk or table somewhere. I don't drop them in blenders/grills/toilets or anything like that.

Re:Not interested (1)

jittles (1613415) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141471)

The second was my own fault, as I'd taken it out of its case and so it was slidier than usual and fell straight out of my pocket..

Not trying to be nit-picky here but I think you meant "more slippy" or "slippier" (though I believe this is an informal word). Just trying to help out, in case you are a non-native English speaker.

Re:Not interested (1)

HisMother (413313) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141777)

<pedantic>If we're giving English lessons, I can't say I've ever heard anyone say either "slippy" or "slippier"; but "slippery" or "slipperier" are both in common use (the first moreso.)</pedantic>

Re:Not interested (1)

jittles (1613415) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142235)

Thank you, I did mean slippery.

Re:Not interested (1)

Inda (580031) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141335)

I know people like this too.

Only they've deliberately thrown the phone on the floor in order to claim off the insurance and purchase a brand new higher-spec phone.

These people are dumb and only end up doing it once.

Dumb because they didn't read the small print about the £100 excess and the fact about "a phone of equivalent value", and the value has dropped below £100 since they bought it.

They now have no phone and it makes me smile.

Re:Not interested (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42141473)

And yet people do this on AppleCare and they actually get brand new phones. It makes them smile.

Re:Not interested (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42140937)

try taking care of it instead of tossing it around. a little responsibility goes a long way.

Re:Not interested (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141087)

Stupid "gorilla glass"?

You do realize that it is designed to prevent scratches not you dropping it on concrete right? Glass is glass. This is why I am glad my phone has a raised edge around the screen. It has already saved it once before.

Re:Not interested (1)

somersault (912633) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141163)

Yes. The harder a substance is, the more easily it shatters when shocked. I'm not even talking about any foreign object touching the glass directly. Just dropping your phone and the shock being transferred through the case to the glass.

A "gel" type case is usually fine for stopping the shock from cracking the glass, but my phone happened to not be in its case recently. The back/home/task switch buttons were going crazy and so I'd taken it out of the case to see if that had anything to do with the problem. It didn't.. oh well. Should have got it replaced under warranty immediately, but now that it's cracked it will need to be replaced under insurance.

Re:Not interested (2)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141381)

That is why most phones do not have the edge of the glass touching the surrounding material so the energy transfer is not so direct.

As a general rule the insurance is not worth it. The prices to repair by the OEM are generally not that much more than the deductible you have to pay to get it replaced. Once you add in the fact that over two years you will have already paid for another device, it is doubly a ripoff.

Re:Not interested (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42141125)

We can use plastic faceplates on phones any time we want and get enough flex to deal with impacts. (We don't because it scratches and scuffs easier than glass.) You don't need a wibblyphone, you just need to convince manufacturers there's a sizable niche who value resistance to catastrophic failure above resistance to wear & tear.

Re:Not interested (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141399)

I would much prefer device cheaper to repair than prone to scratches on the display.

They need to become slightly more modular.

Children on Slashdot Again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42141441)

Don't treat a $500+ gadget like your a toddler with a new toy and that wont happen.

I have sold my last 2 phones, to subsidize my next phone, in perfect condition. Because I keep them in a case and I show care in the way I handle them.

Re:Not interested (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42141521)

Sure, and then you'll complain that your phone flew away in a gust of wind.

Re:Not interested (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141837)

If you don't like gorilla glass then you may not like the Nexus 4.

Re:Not interested (1)

danomac (1032160) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142429)

Yes, but I imagine it's not fun trying to hold a piece of paper that liked to bend all the time to your ear to take a call. Wonder what they've done to address that.

To me it sounds like it's going to be a big annoyance.

Re:Not interested (2)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year and a half ago | (#42140893)

I look forward to the day i can treat my smartphone the same way i used to treat my old Nokia dumb phone. Like the piece of low end consumer electronic it is. My cat's been gnawing at my new phone, and having a tooth sized hole where your home button used to be sucks ass. So grats on being impervious to marketing hype, i look forward to having a phone i don't have to watch over like a small child.

Re:Not interested (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141145)

What are your cat's teeth made off if they can chew through hardened glass?

Or is this button not capacitive?

Re:Not interested (3, Interesting)

Bradmont (513167) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141129)

I agree with you that this form factor won't be super useful. However, flexible displays could be integrated into an incredibly useful design. Something like the Globals form the old scifi show Earth: Final Conflict would be incredibly handy. If you havent' seen the show, it's an oblong device that rolls out to show a fairly large screen. pic [wearethevo...urhead.com] . By storing the screen away from view, it becomes a whole lot more damage resistant.

Re:Not interested (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42141741)

Bad show, showcasing very cool technology. Pen-sized smartphones with roll-out screens seem like the way to go.

Re:Not interested (1)

Buelldozer (713671) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141843)

I came here looking for this comment and someone commenting on the "Globals" device from Earth:Final Conflict.

It's a shame you're buried so deep!

Re:Not interested (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42142599)

I came here looking for this comment and someone commenting on the "Globals" device from Earth:Final Conflict.

Yep, that's exactly where my thought process went. In fact I've been rather hoping someone would release a phone like that for ages. Maybe it might finally be going to happen.

Re:Not interested (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141331)

I'll take flexible phones. It's the transparent phone idea that I can't fathom. Looks cool... and useless. You'd have to have a background appear if you wanted to see or read anything, and you'd have to either use no case, or a glass case.

Re:Not interested (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141585)

Flexible mean a lot of things, like this old Nokia concepts [tuvie.com] . Flexibility could mean changing how you use it, and new ways to use it. An easy one could be folding it to have something manuable to use it as phone, but unfold it to use it like a tablet, but having shapes that enable to even wear them could change things.

What really would worry me is the user interface. As windows 8 clearly shows, an user interface not meant for the "natural" way you interact with a certain device (like putting a phone user interface in a desktop) is a bad idea . This will put to the test how much flexible are the user interfaces of whatever will be put in those phones.

Re:Not interested (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42141671)

It doesn't sound like a good idea. I can't think of a single thing that I would need a bendable phone for.

Re:Not interested (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42142341)

I must be weak-minded because it seems like it might be a good idea to me. If we look past the shockingly shitty OSes on phones and tablets and just get to the hardware, we have a problem: the screens are simultaneously "too small" and "too big." Rolling things up so that it can be big enough to be useful and small enough to fit in your pocket, might be the solution we've all been waiting for.

But maybe I'm thinking more of tablets. I gotta admit that holding a flexible thingie up to the side of my face seems kinda of weird. But how often do you really do that with phones? (Wow, there's a question that would have seemed ridiculous 20 years ago...)

Yeah but... (2)

Entropy98 (1340659) | about a year and a half ago | (#42140811)

Is the battery flexible?

Re:Yeah but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42140831)

That was the first thing I thought of as well.

Re:Yeah but... (3, Informative)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141035)

It seems like in all the pictures, there is a flexible part (screen, keyboard, whatever depending on the concept) and a rigid part. There would have to be... as even if they had bendy leads, displays, and batteries, good luck coming up with a bendy processor.

Re:Yeah but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42141067)

More importantly imho, how long until the razor-thin battery runs out of charge?

Re:Yeah but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42141079)

Actually, the battery is the easiest part. Just use foil batteries. I've seen them years ago. They were made of some kind of plastic. You could roll them up, and do everything to them that you could do to a plastic foil. They even showed how you could cut them to a specific size using normal scissors, attach contacts and have your own custom battery.

Re:Yeah but... (1)

seven of five (578993) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141353)

How do they get all the chips to bend? RAM, Flash, SOC, etc. Or is there a non-flexible part that contains rigid/brittle components?

This will not be used for what they think (0)

nyctopterus (717502) | about a year and a half ago | (#42140819)

This is cool tech, but there is no way that "bendable" is a killer feature for a phone. I've never wanted to bend my phone, and I very much doubt enough people do to make this primary application of this technology. I suspect it will be used in ways that people haven't though of yet.

Re:This will not be used for what they think (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42140957)

Agreed. When we get flexible enough displays, roll-up tablets (as in, 10+ inch) will make some sense. But the bend radius required to appreciably reduce the size of phones is around 5mm, and that's way out of reach.

Re:This will not be used for what they think (5, Insightful)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about a year and a half ago | (#42140975)

To me, bendable means that I can put it in my pocket and have it conform to the curve of my leg. I could put it in my back pocket and it might be less uncomfortable. Hell, if it's paper thin and as flexible as the summary claims it will be, I could stick the damn thing in my wallet.

Whatever "killer feature" even means, I'm in for one.

Is that an old boner-phone in your pocket... (2)

timeOday (582209) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142031)

...or are you just happy to see me?

I agree with you, there is a good reason that wallets are NOT rigid cuboids, like phones currently are. Flexi-phones will disappear into the pocket far better.

Re:This will not be used for what they think (1)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year and a half ago | (#42140985)

A bendable phone is a killer feature, because it prevents the damage from a 200-pound American sitting on a slab of glass.

Re:This will not be used for what they think (3, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141063)

Wait, 200 lbs is considered heavy now? Uh-oh.

Re:This will not be used for what they think (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141199)

...That actually wasn't supposed to be the inflammatory part. Give me a break; I haven't gotten my coffee yet.

200 pounds is enough to easily break a phone in one's back pocket. Americans are just dumb enough to do it repeatedly.

Re:This will not be used for what they think (3, Informative)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141461)

At least Americans know not to wear speedos to the beach when they have huge guts, unlike a lot of Europeans. ;p

Re:This will not be used for what they think (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141523)

You make a good point. I don't recall [wikipedia.org] any Speedo-wearing whales at the Florida beaches...

Re:This will not be used for what they think (2)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141875)

Those were visiting Europeans ;p

Re:This will not be used for what they think (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142363)

It is if she's only five feet tall.

Re:This will not be used for what they think (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | about a year and a half ago | (#42140987)

I DON'T want my phone to bend. A rigid structure is very nice for a lot of reasons.

If you are reaching up to push a button on your phone, and it is held in a clamp (like a car-dock) You want it to be rigid so that it doesn't flex when you are pushing a button.

I currently use a case which has a silicone sleeve, and a rigid 'exoskeleton' design. The rigid exterior is very nice for distributing the force over a larger area, and the silicone acts as a great shock absorber. I'm certainly not going to stop using such a case because even a flexible phone would have sensitive parts, so I'm still going to want to protect it with a case and thus the flexibility is pointless.

It will be damned nice to have a flexible display and mount it on my car's windshield, but I don't really want that flexing. The advantage of this technology is that you aren't limited to planar surfaces for displays, not that you want your displays to flex.

Re:This will not be used for what they think (4, Funny)

pr0nbot (313417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141027)

Add a stylus and some handwriting recognition, then invent some kind of adhesive micropayment system and a physical distribution/collection network, and it could be used as a high latency message transmission system?

Re:This will not be used for what they think (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42141931)

Add a stylus and some handwriting recognition, then invent some kind of adhesive micropayment system and a physical distribution/collection network, and it could be used as a high latency message transmission system?

Quick, patent this and sue the post office!

Feature Set (3, Insightful)

Iron (III) Chloride (922186) | about a year and a half ago | (#42140821)

One question to ask would be the types of features that one would expect in these flexible phones in the near-term. Would they start out as having similar capabilities as current smartphones in the market, or would they be more "bread-and-butter" phones that will only see incorporation of additional capabilities in the long term?

Of greater interest to me is the possibility of flexible laptops and tablets. The reason why we have things like smartphones is because we can easily carry them around (e.g. in our pocket) and still have sufficient computational for day-to-day use. But if we can get flexible tablets/laptops to work, I think that'd be very useful in terms of packing greater amounts of computational power per (folded) surface area.

Re:Feature Set (1)

jovius (974690) | about a year and a half ago | (#42140965)

A mobile device in the most basic terms needs only the connectivity and a screen, and that's the direction where mobile computing is going (and we are seeing more just screens everywhere to stream data to). The setting is paved with on-line services, which are steadily taken as a norm. A bit of cache memory and everything can be streamed to and from the device, which wouldn't need much of processing power either, or a powerful GPU.

The electromagnetic spectrum is not that much there too yet, but it's coming along too.

Re:Feature Set (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142543)

One question to ask would be the types of features that one would expect in these flexible phones in the near-term. Would they start out as having similar capabilities as current smartphones in the market, or would they be more "bread-and-butter" phones that will only see incorporation of additional capabilities in the long term?

Of greater interest to me is the possibility of flexible laptops and tablets. The reason why we have things like smartphones is because we can easily carry them around (e.g. in our pocket) and still have sufficient computational for day-to-day use. But if we can get flexible tablets/laptops to work, I think that'd be very useful in terms of packing greater amounts of computational power per (folded) surface area.

I am having a hard time seeing an all bendy and all over paper thin iPhone or Galaxy killer that can handle 3D games and the like. The mockups and prototypes I have seen are usually a thin and bendy screen a few millimeters thick made from a rubbery material and attached to a brick containing the electronics, kind of like the ones depicted in TFA (none of whom come close my definition of 'razor-thin' by the way), one of the coolest mockups I have seen was a small brick with a paper thin pull out screen.

Flavors (4, Funny)

BlueMonk (101716) | about a year and a half ago | (#42140825)

Samsung flavors smartphones with so-called flexible OLED

Mmmm... OLED... Tasty!

Re:Flavors (1)

retroworks (652802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141003)

Cue the Apple Fruit Roll jokes... "Honey, Junior ate another IPhone"

Re:Flavors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42141611)

Mmmm... OLED... Tasty!

And don't forget the crunchy texture, and that it's even better with milk.

To dipsose (2)

clemdoc (624639) | about a year and a half ago | (#42140845)

of your phone, you just dump it into the shredder?
Will the phones then end up as confetti?

Re:To dipsose (1)

ctrl-alt-canc (977108) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141177)

You could also embed it into the toilet paper roll...

Too thin for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42140877)

It sounds like a revolutionary device and technology. I remember seeing/reading scifi genre giving way to super thin phones.
It could lead to disposable phones. Though i hate see the amount of e-waste that would cause.

However, I like thing with a solid backing.

Too bad (0)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#42140897)

Too bad Apple probably already has a patent on it

This is greatsome (1)

Quakeulf (2650167) | about a year and a half ago | (#42140911)

This is really cool and I hope to have a bendable phone next. I am beginning to hate the increasingly massive sizes of phones recently and this is a welcome feature to offset that so that I can actually bend and stretch my legs without having to adjust the massive bulge in my pocket. :3

Only the screen is flexible (1)

Tagged_84 (1144281) | about a year and a half ago | (#42140917)

The rest of the components, such as the mainboard and battery, aren't flexible. I was under the impression we would see some curved phones that are rigid rather than a fully flexible screen. I read this article and I didn't see any specific mention of what exactly what Samsung have planned, anyone know the answer?

Why? (0)

sanosuke001 (640243) | about a year and a half ago | (#42140931)

Why would I care to have a flexible phone? What does this give me that a regular phone doesn't? These won't be "foldable" like a dollar bill so it won't go in my wallet. I doubt it would be durable enough to be indestructible so, again, why?

Re:Why? (4, Funny)

Nyder (754090) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141049)

Why would I care to have a flexible phone? What does this give me that a regular phone doesn't? These won't be "foldable" like a dollar bill so it won't go in my wallet. I doubt it would be durable enough to be indestructible so, again, why?

Because the phone would be more durable. Wouldn't be a big deal to keep it in your back pocket while sitting. And seeing as small as phones are now, I could see these being small enough to fit in your wallet. Ya, there ya go. A disposal backup phone you can keep in your wallet for emergencies.

Ever break a phone by dropping it? Won't have that problem with these phones.

You also forgot "get off my lawn" in your post.

Re:Why? (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142439)

Honestly, if this is a thin plastic sheet that I can barely hold onto it won't be worth the added durability. Also, as I said, I doubt it will be foldable where I could put a hard crease into it like I can with a sheet of paper (necessary if I want to put in my wallet).

And get off my lawn (I knew I forgot something in my earlier post...)

razor-thin! (2)

thegoldenear (323630) | about a year and a half ago | (#42140953)

I don't want anything as sharp as "razor-thin" in my pocket.

Razor thin? Really?? Is somebody being obsessive? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42140967)

In mobile phone world, anorexic phones cut YOU!

### Bonus material for this comment:
IMHO, the ideal shape for me would be that of my dick. (Studies found a relationship between hand/foot and dick/pussy size, so I figure it's the ideal "handle" shape.)
(Aaaah, the comfort of Anonymous Cowardliness.)

Re:Razor thin? Really?? Is somebody being obsessiv (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42140991)

Dammit! It should have been "anorexic models"!

Re:Razor thin? Really?? Is somebody being obsessiv (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42141249)

What the hell is wrong with Slashdot these days?? Really? Modding down a funny comment, because you are too stupid to get it?? Or because now the crazy Catholiban even have invaded this place?

Bach in the days, this would have gone to +3, Funny.

RIP Slashdot.

Re:Razor thin? Really?? Is somebody being obsessiv (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142119)

IMHO, the ideal shape for me would be that of my dick.

Maybe you got modded down because people don't want to use a smaller phone.

Large screen, small device (3, Informative)

macemoneta (154740) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141021)

Like the "Earth: Final Conflict" Global Link Communicator [google.com] , this will allow the creation of small devices with large screens that unroll when in use.

Re:Large screen, small device (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141845)

Bingo! Actually, for me,that was the first kind of application that came to mind years ago when word of E-ink and ePaper were new. Big but lightweight screen, small phone.

Re:Large screen, small device (2)

CaseCrash (1120869) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141855)

Forgot about those. Personally, I was thinking in terms of Caprica's paper computer things people carried around in their pocket (link [google.com] )

I'd love to have one of those.

Ooooh, paper cuts behind my ears! (1)

jthill (303417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141023)

I can hardly wait.

Re:Ooooh, paper cuts behind my ears! (1)

Kentari (1265084) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142097)

You're holding it wrong...

Apple Trouble (1)

arisvega (1414195) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141043)

Uh - oh ... Apple is in trouble!

Re:Apple Trouble (1)

kenorland (2691677) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142209)

Why would Apple be in trouble? They'll copy Samsung and Sony's phones, they'll patent the rectangular version of it, market the hell out of it, and finally sue everybody for stealing Apple's innovation. Apple has been getting away with that for thirty years.

My prediction (1)

UnresolvedExternal (665288) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141065)

My prediction is:
- lots of strange wobbly phone designs
- that will be a pain to hold and text on
- whose main function is to go OOOO look how bendy I am!

Size (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42141081)

I don't need a flexible phone. I need a phone that fits in my pocket. Unlike those overgrown iPod phones that everybody have at their desks nowadays. Apple didn't invent something new, they reinvented the desk phone, and added an Apple logo to it to get the suckers to buy it.

I see people all the time, running towards their desk/office to pick up their "smart" phone. That's not "smart", that's what people used to do 15 years ago, when their desk phone rang.

This can only be good. (1)

dohzer (867770) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141285)

Paper and similar materials can keep bending forever with out ever breaking, so I can't see anything going wrong with this.

Re:This can only be good. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141465)

Go get some paper and try your theory out. I assure you it cannot keep bending forever. Each bending and unbending does stress it and can damage it. The question is can this damage be minimized so the device can be used for at least 18 months, or made cheaply and easily replaced.

Re:This can only be good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42141907)

Go get some paper and try your theory out.

Well, this is (currently) rated higher than the rather openly sarcastic parent. Does that mean that Slashdot does no longer require a working sarcasm detector?

my phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42141413)

is flexible non-smart enough thank you.

Money making opportunity (1)

Coisiche (2000870) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141449)

Quick, find patents for mobile devices and just add "on a flexible screen" and file a new one.

That's all it takes to get approval, right?

Too Thin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42141489)

The phones today are too thin already. Thank goodness for extended batteries and cases, or I would be unable to use my S3.

I must be obtuse, because I don't see where this will benefit me. Albeit, there may be alternative uses to such devices that are paper thin.

How about waterproof? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141661)

They've had the ability to make cellphones waterproof for nearly 10 years and haven't bothered. My guess is it's an added expense and the make a lot of money from people that run their phones through the wash. Hell, I had one die after I left it on the counter while I took a shower. Think they've fix that with these "flexible" phones? I doubt it... and it's a far more common cause of phone failure than braking the actual phone.

Re:How about waterproof? (1)

kenorland (2691677) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142241)

There are many waterproof Android phones on the market worldwide. The problem is that US carriers are so restrictive and have such a small selection.

Hm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42141743)

razor-thin, paper-like and bendable

I see two problems with this, the obvious being...paper? Because paper is just so durable, that's what we need, phones that tear so we have to rebuy them once a week.

The biggest issue I see though, I use my phone as a media player, where are my headphones going to plug into when the plug is thicker than the phone?

Wearable computing (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141747)

Being flexible means that they could turn into i.e. bracelets, or other accesories. Probably it will change from a boxy thing that you must carry to a bunch of device parts that you will be wearing

Yuck (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | about a year and a half ago | (#42141849)

Yuck. I don't want my phone, iPod or other devices bending. This sounds like it is going to be more fragile and less long lived. This sounds like more of the disposable society. Yuck.

I want durability. I want to buy a device and use it for years, pass it on in the family and have others be able to keep using it. I want devices that are durable and last, taking real world abuse.

Re:Yuck (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142181)

The day we finally hit atomic limits for our technology is the day that trend will start happening. Maybe.

Razor-thin? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year and a half ago | (#42142169)

Why the fuck would we want our phones to be so thin? Do they think we want to cut vegetables and shoes with our phones?

Won't somebody please think of the hemophiliac children!

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