Look what Nokia has done with this mobile gadget — Nokia calls it a “kinetic device,” a prototype with a flexible display the company showed at Nokia World 2011 in London.
Instead of the pinch-to-zoom capabilities copied throughout the smartphone industry, Nokia has come up with a novel way to accomplish the same thing: When you bend and twist this handset, the image on its screen does your bidding in a highly intuitive way.
One of the advantages Nokia touts for such a device is the ability to use it without looking at it — for instance, twisting it in your pocket to dismiss a call or change song on a music player.
How does it work? According to CNET, a Nokia demonstrator said the company was experimenting with bundles of carbon nanotubes whose electrical properties change when they’re stretched. Those nanotubes are embedded in a flexible substance that allows the device to control the screen when twisted and bent. An additional advantage: The device is much tougher — and is water resistant, too.
We’ve heard of displays that might be capable of folding like a newspaper and rolled up like a tube, but the idea of controlling by bending is different. Imagine the possibilities: Perhaps it could be used by blind people, where the bending properties of the device would not require vision to intuitively control a smartphone.
When will we see such a thing in the real world? Nokia’s not saying precisely when its kinetic device will be released, but one rep tells IntoMobile in the video embedded below, “hopefully soon.”