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What does a Future Smart Phone Look Like?


People want to upgrade their digital cameras sometimes merely because the new types are much easier to carry in pockets; people buys new watches sometimes just to avoid changing batteries; people are crazy about iPhones while still trying to live with the trade-off between a comfortable size of a keyboard and a display. But the truth is that a device should bear all those features to be qualified as a ‘mobile’ one: pocket size and light in weight, worry-free charging, comfortable for fingers and eyes of all sizes.

The recent two prototypes might cast a little light into how our future mobile phone could look like.

Sony has in May debuted its rollable OLED display. The 4,1-inch screen is only 80 microns thick and can roll and unroll a 4mm cylinder while still display moving images at 432×240 resolution. What distinguishes this rolling display in innovation from other flexible screens is that the use of organic on-panel gate-driven circuits, which is flexible, to replace IC chips on screen. This enables the entire display unit, including the control circuits, except for the power, to flex with the screen and bend repeatedly (over 1000 times) while still working. It means you can carry the whole display (except for the power) around a pencil with you and coat it over whatever surface available whenever you want to use it!

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Nokia has designed an eco-friendly mobile phone —  EC 509 Green Core, by Matteo Trisolini. The phone doesn’t need a battery. You spin it using the hole at the bottom, thus charges the phone by the kinetic energy, like your Seiko kinetic watch. There is also a LED power indicator and a recycled PET plastic screen cover.

Let’s say if we can somehow plug in the rollable display at the side of this eco-phone. Then the phone can afford a normal comfortable size with room for decent arrangement of a keyboard and a simple message display. When you want to enjoy more complicated images in whatever size suits you in the moment, you roll up your side screen!

However one main obstacle I can think of already is that to display high-quality moving images requires tremendous power, which will not be satisfied easily through short-time simple mechanic motions. It might help to combine a solar power panel. But again, if the size, thickness and weight goes up exponentially because of the power issue, our future smart phone would not be much of an appeal then, would it?

If you are interested in the topic, why not give me your reflection!

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  1. June 2, 2010 at 2:40 pm

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