Nokia kinetic device

Multitouch revolutionized user interfaces, and if Nokia researchers get their way, a mobile device that's sensitive to how it's being flexed could be the next revolution.

At the Nokia World show here, the Finnish mobile phone maker showed off its "Nokia kinetic device" with a flexible display. Gripped with two hands, it would scroll through music collections or photo albums when twisted. Bowing it inward or outward zoomed photos in and out or paused and played music, while tapping the corners panned through photos.

While it was a real computing device with a real OLED display, it's most definitely not a real product anyone could buy today. More firmly in the prototype category was a related flexible device that looked like a slim remote control; it could be controlled with a single hand.

Tapani Jokinen, who began working on the technology about two years ago as part of a Nokia group tasked with creating designs out of earlier-stage research, wouldn't say either when he thinks it'll come to market or how it worked.

But Chris Bower, stationed nearby at Nokia's "Future Lounge," had some ideas. He was showing an experimental apparatus with a bundle of carbon nanotubes in a flexible elastomer medium. The electrical resistance of the nanotubes changes as they're stretched, and measurements of the change let a computer control how a map zoomed in and out. The same approach could be used to control the flexible interface.

Source: news.cnet.com

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