28 February 2014

A Multi-Functional Smartphone That Can Transform Into Different Gadgets

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Researchers at Hasselt University iMinds in Belgium have created the ‘Paddle’, a multi-functional smartphone that can transform into different gadgets to suit your needs.

The Rubik’s Cube-inspired device is made of eight square tiles that can be manipulated into different shapes and sizes, effectively eliminating the need for multiple gadgets. For example, you can fold and bend it into a book, tablet, bracelet, armband and other intuitive forms without the need to learn specific gestures to control it.

Raf Ramakers, a PhD Student in Human Computer Interaction, said in an interview with Fast Company “At the moment our Paddle prototype supports around 15 different shapes but this number increases every day as we are including more and more shapes of the original Rubik’s Magic puzzle. When unfolding Paddle completely it is nearly the size of an iPad, but when folding it up, it can become smaller than an iPhone.”

The current prototype uses an optical tracking system and a projector. The tracking system uses eight infrared cameras to capture light reflected off reflective markers, and tracks the user’s fingers to allow touch interaction on the device.

According to Electronic Products, users who used the ‘Paddle’ as a ‘book’ were able to recall information better as opposed to reading from a smartphone screen. This could pave the way for devices that combine tactile and digital experiences, and enhance the way people learn and process information.

Read the entire article here and watch a video of the prototype in action below.

What do you think of the ‘Paddle’? Would you use such a product?

[via Fast Company]