E-ink and e-paper are nice concepts. But with so many lucid displays available for our smartphones, the average consumer might not get all that excited about an e-ink display. Not if it's as cool as the PaperFold concept phone. Maybe, just maybe, people might change their minds.
Instead of one display, you get three, each of them able to show different apps or used to interact with one another. Which is pretty cool, if you ask us.
Clunky and yet exciting
What sets this invention by Queen’s University’s Human Media Lab apart? The concept pretty much works as a standard phone, allowing calls, messages as well as web browsing. But the three screens are the real star here.
Each screen is linked together and yet detachable for a variety of different configurations. You can view them next to each other for a big horizontal view or fold them up to access either the front or back screens.
Each of the screens is super thin and light, allowing a very compact form factor that does not stinge on the display real estate. You can, for instance, fold out one screen to display a virtual keyboard and use the other screen as a display - like a foldable mini-laptop of sorts.
While the displays aren’t very pretty, due to the slower refresh rate and lack of colour, it uses far less power. E-ink displays are also far easier on the eyes than traditional LCDs, making them great for applications like reading and browsing websites or text.
The PaperFold was recently revealed at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Toronto. No plans exist as yet to turn the prototype into a commercial smartphone but who knows what this might hold for the future? Bendy, multi-display smartphones, here we come.
Until the future arrives, why not read about our possible bendy-display future or have a look at the hybrid E-ink/standard display YotaPhone smartphone review we did?
Or if you're impatient about joining the E-ink revolution, you can add an E-ink screen to your phone with a phone case.