Ontario-based Queen's University unveils MorePhone in Paris
Researchers at the Human Media Lab of the Queen's Universitybased in Ontario, Canada, have developed a new smartphone, called MorePhone, which can distort itself to silently but visually warn the user of a call, message or email.
"This is a new phase in the new technical interactions made possible by smartphones using flexible films," says Roel Vertegaal, Director of the Human Media Lab at Queen's University, which recently developed the PaperPhone and PaperTab.
"Users are accustomed to hearing their mobile phones ringing or vibrating in silent mode. However, in this case, notifications may be missed when the phone is not nearby. With the MorePhone, they will be able to see the distortion in an instant and know that someone is trying to reach them.says Roel Vertegaal.
The MorePhone is not a traditional smartphone. It is made of a flexible and very thin electrophoretic material manufactured by Plastic Logic, a British company and world leader in electronic plastics. Underneath this layer are alloy filaments that contract to deform the shell during notification. This shape "memory" allows either the entire device to be corrugated or the corners of the device to be bent. Each corner can be set to signify a particular notification.
For example, the user can program his smartphone so that the top right-hand corner warns him of the arrival of an SMS and the bottom right-hand corner indicates the arrival of an email. The corners can also be twisted continuously to indicate an urgent message.
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Dr. Vertegaal believes that this type of flexible mobile phone like the MorePhone could be in the hands of end users within 5 to 10 years. Researchers from Queen's University launched the prototype in Paris at the end of April at the ACM CHI 2013 event, the only conference focusing on human-computer interaction.
Ontario is Canada's economic engine, accounting for 37 % of GDP, 39 % of population and 38 % of goods exports. As a result of financial support and consultation available to businesses of all sizes, funding programs to stimulate innovation and research and development, and the most highly educated workforce in the G7, Ontario now has the largest economy in Canada and one of the top 10 in North America.
The province has close economic ties with France, which is its seventh largest trading partner. In the province, about 7 % of foreign direct investment and 15 % of capital spending from Europe are French. The proposed Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will further boost trade between Canada and the European Union. www.investinontario.com/fr – www.ontarioexports.com/fr
Ontario, Canada's ICT Sector
Ontario is home to about 18,000 innovative information and communications technology companies employing more than 270,000 highly skilled workers. More than 80% of Ontario's ICT employees have postsecondary degrees. Global giants such as BlackBerry, Open Text, Christie Digital and ViXS started in Ontario, and the province has attracted foreign multinationals such as GE, IBM, Siemens, Cisco, Intel and Google. With many achievements, including the BlackBerry, the world's first Geographic Information System (GIS), IMAX film technology, and breakthroughs in 3D animation, Ontario is a leader among centres for ICT invention and innovation.
The Human Media Lab (HML) is one of the only multidisciplinary laboratories in Canada. The HML is already at the forefront of a number of inventions: motion sensor for smartphones, Google TechTalk user interface, the first paper computer, the first flexible smartphone, the first flexible tablet, etc. Researchers at the HML are currently working on the design of an organic user interface (Yes project), as well as computers of various shapes (visit www.organicui.org for more information). The HML is led by Dr. Roel Vertegaal, Professor at Queen's University's School of Computing. Many graduates and students work with him, they all have a wide variety of backgrounds in computer science, design, psychology, engineering.