The shapeshifting Paddle smartphone

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

shapeshifting phone
The Paddle can be thinned out and shortened like an iPhone, stretched and used like an iPad, or even bent like a foldout map.

While popular smartphones have a wide variety of unique features these days, they’re still remarkably similar when placed side-by-side. Comparing Apple and Samsung products is basically like looking at two rectangular devices with large displays, a main home button, volume adjusters, and cameras. Now, researchers have created a truly unique smartphone called the Paddle, which is made of tiles that can be stacked, flipped, and folded in many shapes.

Inspired by the bendable Rubik’s Magic Puzzle toy, the Paddle can morph into at least 15 shapes, from the size of an iPad to half the size of an iPhone. This range means the gadget could replace multiple devices at once, such as tablets, smartphones, and e-readers. Currently, Paddle uses 8 cameras and a projector to function, so it’s incredibly futuristic! The multiple cams are used to keep track of a person’s finger position and what shape the Paddle is currently in at any given moment. The projector then displays the appropriate interface for the shape of the phone, while responding to the user’s commands. For beginners, the phone displays suggested commands to help them become familiar with the intricate smartphone.

Researchers plan to have a prototype (working model) of Paddle ready in 12 to 18 months, so keep an eye on the distant horizon for the ultra-bendable, morphing tech.

Images courtesy of Raf Ramakers.