Lenovo Shows Off Bendable Phones, Tablets

...

Digital screens that bend and fold like a piece of paper are nothing new. Samsung showed off its bendable prototype more than three years ago, and rumors tip a consumer device next year. But integrating them into a market-ready phone or tablet has proved much more difficult, according to Lenovo, which this week showed off its latest efforts to make a phone's guts just as bendable as its display.

At the company's Tech World Expo in San Francisco, Chief Technology Officer Peter Hortensius said there are two main engineering obstacles to overcome. First, Lenovo's focus groups have shown that people want to interact with the phone or tablet when it's folded. That means a screen that can bend outwards, not just inwards.

"Bending in is an easier problem," he said, "because the thing you're stretching is not the display."

The second problem is the memory, processor, camera, and all the other electronic components that go into a portable device. Figuring out how to position those away from the hinges while still maintaining the overall integrity of the phone has so far proven elusive.

Lenovo Folio Flexible Tablet Prototype

Still, Lenovo has made fragile but working prototypes of a bendable phone, which it calls the CPlus, and a flexible tablet, dubbed the Folio. After YouTube personality Meghan McCarthy showed off the devices on stage, Hortensius gave a few journalists an up-close demo of their flexible features.

When it's flat, the Folio could be mistaken for any other Android tablet except for the odd layout of its longer side: a giant camera sits far below an equally giant phone earpiece in what seems to be impractical design for a tablet.

But in between the camera and earpiece is a hidden hinge. Fold it and one half of the tablet's screen goes dark, transforming it into a phablet-sized device that you can hold up to your ear.

The CPlus is even more flexible. Its multiple hinges allow it to curl up on itself through almost 360 degrees, creating a bracelet you can wear on your wrist. As you do, the screen's app layout transitions into three sections. The top (where the clock face would be on a wrist watch) shows time, weather, and notifications, the middle section has media player controls, and the bottom displays what appeared to be an app launcher.

It's worth noting that the CPlus's design looked much more advanced than the Folio, whose screen appeared plasticy and very flimsy.

"It's as floppy and flexible as a piece of paper," Hortensius said, admitting that "they are not there yet in terms of reliability." When pressed, he wouldn't give a timeframe for when they might be commercially available.

Also at Lenovo's event, it shows off the Phab2 Pro Project Tango phone (video below) and Motorola Moto Z lineup.

Categories
APPLICATIONS
0 Comment

Leave a Reply

Captcha image


RELATED BY

  • 5300c769af79e

    White House Releases Open Source Software Policy

    The White House has released the Federal Source Code policy, allowing government agencies to access custom software code developed by or for the administration.That includes a pilot program requiring federal agencies to release to the public at least 20 percent of new custom-made source code as open source software for three years.
  • 5300c769af79e

    Twitter Cracks Down on Data Use for Surveillance

    The practice, recently used by police to profile protesters and activists, is "absolutely unacceptable," the microblogging site said.Last month, law enforcement officials in Baltimore and Oakland, Calif.
  • 5300c769af79e

    Domain.com Web Hosting

    Oddly enough, unlike the other Web hosting services I've reviewed, Domain.75 per month with a one-year contract) adds unlimited domain hosting and 250 email addresses.
  • 5300c769af79e

    Key Considerations in Choosing a Web Application Firewall

    Download Organizations that deliver rich and complex Internet content to users without having adequate security incur significant risk and are exposed to a variety of potentially malicious attacks from rapidly changing IP addresses.By deploying a strong web application firewall, you can secure your critical web applications wherever they reside--within a virtual software-defined data center, managed cloud service environment, public cloud or traditional data center.