Origami Cell Phone Concept

An interesting little company called Inventables was founded in 2002 to help companies innovate. They have a product called DesignAid, which consists of kits with samples of interesting and cutting edge materials, along with information to spur thought processes of designers.

They also have a concept studio, in which the Inventables designers describe futuristic products.

One of their concept pictures really caught my eye - the Origami Cell Phone.

(Origami Cell Phone Concept)

The idea is that the phone uses flexible e-paper to create a larger-than-cell display.

This was one case where the Inventables designers should have been reading science fiction; this design is at least twenty years old. In his 1986 novel Count Zero, William Gibson describes a polycarbon phone screen:

"We'll key that to the image on this phone." He took an elegant modular unit from the bag and placed it in front of her. A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently from the top of the unit and immediately grew rigid. She had once watched a butterfly emerge into the world, and seen the transformation of its drying wings. "How is that done?" she asked, tentatively touching the screen. It was like thin steel.

"One of the new polycarbon variants," he said, "one of the Maas products...
(Read more about William Gibson's polycarbon phone screen)

Inventables is worth checking out; they specialize in "just about possible" applications rather than totally blue-sky wishes. I particularly liked the transparent toaster and the time-sensitive bill. Technovelgy readers (and, I'll bet, Inventables crew members) would also enjoy the Halfbakery, a great site - check out their list of toaster-related ideas. In the meantime, the Origami Cell Phone is still Beyond Technovelgy.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/11/2006)

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