A team from the Human Media Lab at Canada’s Queen’s University has unveiled their latest contribution to the flexible computer realm: PaperFold consists of three displays, each of which can operate independently of each other. When connected, however, they act as a single unit, offering much greater real estate and functionality than is found on a typical one-screen smartphone. Even better, the displays can be folded at the connecting hinges. With a site like Google Maps, PaperFold can show different views of a particular map depending on the way it’s folded. The team presented the device at this week’s ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.
What’s the Big Idea?
Like its predecessors Paperphone and PaperTab, PaperFold represents the team’s ongoing attempts to combine the best features of paper and electronics. Human Media Lab director Dr. Roel Vertegaal explains: “Books use folding as both a navigational and space saving technique, and paper maps have malleable display sizes….PaperFold demonstrates how form could equal function in malleable mobile devices.”