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Cellphones Displays Handhelds Technology

Nokia Unveils OLED Phone You Control By Bending 110

Posted by timothy
from the both-hands-on-the-phone-no-the-wheel dept.
jldailey618 writes "Nokia just unveiled an OLED smartphone that is controlled by flexing the device with both hands. By bending corners and pushing the sides inward and outward, the user can scroll, zoom, and select. 'Researchers would not discuss exactly how the processor behind the twisty screen functioned, but they did say that it would be compatible with most current operating systems.'" Reader jones_supa adds a link to The Inquirer (with video), which points out that the twist-based (rather than poke-based) interface means "you can do many basic functions such as scrolling, zooming and answering calls even while wearing mittens."
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Nokia Unveils OLED Phone You Control By Bending

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  • I thought a resistive touch screen solved that problem.
    • So do conductive gloves. You can buy silver coated conductive thread to make your own, or you can buy some already made [agloves.com].

      Although they did say "while wearing mittens", not gloves. Mittens are warmer than gloves, but you lose a lot of dexterity with them. You could still do conductive mittens, but they might be cumbersome.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I don't see how you could use a touch screen with a mitten unless it was a 40" screen. I don't know about you but my right hand would cover the whole screen on a phone if I was touching something on the top left corner while wearing mittens. Remember that Nokia are from a cold country. This kind of problems haunts them.

        captcha: thickest

      • Please bring me my silver coated mittens James, and some Grey Popon for my caviar, I need to make a phone call!
      • by mvdwege (243851)

        So I should jump through hoops to get a device working for me, instead of the manufacturer fixing the obvious defect.

        Let me guess, you're an Apple fanboi?

        • Your glove manufacturer didn't make your gloves conductive? That does sound like a defect.

        • by BitZtream (692029)

          fanboi

          Awe, aren't you cute. Trying to insult the trendy apple guy with your trendy insult.

          Seriously? You'd look like far less of a douche if you knew anything about what you were talking about. Using an iPhone, and indeed many android devices like it is fairly trivial with proper gloves/mittens. You do the same thing people with large fingers do, you learn to roll for accuracy. The size issue doesn't change the fact that the device always focuses on 'the center of touch', the center is now just in the middle

          • by mvdwege (243851)

            Awww, did I step on your tiny iDick?

            Here's a hint for you, stupid: I was comparing his 'use conductive mittens' with 'you're holding it wrong', not necessarily with the iPhone touch screen itself.

            But hey, I'm expecting reason from a guy who seems to enjoy being as abrasive as possible on Slashdot, so much so that his nick is an almost '-1,Troll' on sight. And that guy complains when someone is a bit rude?

            Why don't you stop being such an iPansy?

            Mart

      • Mittens have a thumb. I frequently use my thumb on the restive screen on my phone.
    • by Osgeld (1900440)

      so did physical buttons when they were not the size of an atom with a 8 inch screen and your phone included a decent speaker, and service that did not echo

      innovation is a bitch

      • I think the number one reason I like Android is the convenience of entering my contacts into google, and they just automagically appear on my phone. That said, I really miss the reliability of my old late 90's nokia phone.
        • by Pieroxy (222434)

          I think the number one reason I like Android is the convenience of entering my contacts into google, and they just automagically appear on my phone.

          You know Google sync supports the Exchange protocol and is freely available for all phones (all devices actually) out there since Feb 9, 2009?

          Android may have a slightly sleaker interface, but adding a contact to my gmail account automatically pushes it to my phone (which is not an android.)

          • You know Google sync supports the Exchange protocol and is freely available for all phones

            Yes but it sucks. I have my HTC Wizard syncing with Google's exchange servers and let me tell you, the Exchange protocol is utter crap. Or at least the Google's exchange implementation + WinMobile 6.5 exchange implementation combination is crap. Why? Because I can't simply create contacts in the phone or most probably the Active Sync software (the sync utility on WinMob) will prompt me with a
            "there was an error with the exchange server, all your contacts in the phone need to be deleted and re-synced again f

            • by Pieroxy (222434)

              I've been using it on my iPhone since day one and it works great.

              Remains the Windows 6.5 sucks part, but there's nothing new about it.

            • Works fine with my Nokia S60 with Google Sync [google.com] (which in fact uses the Exchange protocol). Never had to re-sync, even though my phone only connects once every two days or so, which means there are often multiple contacts on both ends to sync.

            • by BitZtream (692029)

              You're phone was broken, Sorry. At work we have an iPhone user, a blackberry user and a couple of Android users, and a WinMo user, the blackberry guy has problems due to blackberry (as you've heard in the news) the rest of us have no sync issues with Google at all.

        • Is that really a new and exciting feature? My last three phones since about 2003 have supported syncing via bluetooth. Just put them near my computer and contacts and calendars are sync'd. The only advantage of doing it via the Internet is that it uses more battery power...
  • ...and if you disagree with me, you can bite my shiny metal ass!

    ~Philly
    • If I had mod points (or the copyrights), I would mod you up and/or make you richer.

    • by jd (1658)

      Actually, I can think of two living spokesmen who'd be better. It would have been four, but John and George are dead.

  • RSI (Score:1, Funny)

    by abelb (1365345)
    Nokia: Changing the way we bring RSI to kids.
    • Nokia: from full linux distro to windows smartphone edition, from optionally one-handed to mandatory two-handed operation. Next model, what`ll it be? CP/M and punch cards?

      Anyway the tech is cool, maybe as a supplementary input.

  • by beaverdownunder (1822050) on Saturday October 29, 2011 @02:13AM (#37877062)

    ...you get your own customers to gradually break their phones so they inevitably have to buy new ones. Smart thinking.

    • by Kjella (173770) on Saturday October 29, 2011 @04:47AM (#37877438) Homepage

      Today if you bend and break your phone and try to get a warranty replacement they'll tell you to go fish, you're not supposed to do that. The moment you make it part of the interface, there's people who will go way overboard like intense games, kids being too rough with it, have anger management issues and whatever. Even if it's built like a tank that no average person would ever wear out, there's a pretty thick tail of users who'll treat it way more roughly than everybody else. To me it sounds more like support hell than planned obsolescence heaven. If you want that then you should do it on some part you control the life time of, like say the non-replaceable battery running out, the screen fading away, no more software updates, anything you can reasonably control doesn't happen in the warranty period. This would be anything but that.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      ...you get your own customers to gradually break their phones so they inevitably have to buy new ones. Smart thinking.

      People get new phones every 2 years anyway. The 24 month contracts are actually a boon to manufacturers (but at least it allows the tech to advance fast as well.)

  • The great thing about my smartphone now is that there are no moving parts (except for the vibration motor). How many bends until the phone breaks in half?
    • Oh, I forgot about the power and volume buttons, those are also moving parts. I heard the Nexus One has a problem with power buttons breaking after a year.
      • And the voice coils in the speakers and microphone, the microswitches in the headphone socket, the accelerometer (you covered already), magnetometer, and for those phones with them, gyroscopes.

        All this is beside the point anyway. Smartphones are flimsy devices. The slightest fall is met with a cracked screen rendering the phone completely unusable. In some designs even something as simple as putting a case on the phone will cause some weak points to appear across the screen or (dumbest idea ever) glass back

        • by pnot (96038)

          I miss my old 3310... dropped onto floors, flung across rooms, trodden on, rained on... frequently used as a bottle opener. Nothing bothered it until I accidentally dropped it into a pint of stout. Not even a 3310 will stand for that. I know people still using theirs after ten years.

          My replacement 1110 is OK, but it's too rounded to open bottles.

          • Nothing bothered it until I accidentally dropped it into a pint of stout. Not even a 3310 will stand for that.

            Well, my mother's Motorola from around the same time as the 3310 spent an entire night submerged in greasy water and survived just fine (after drying).

            The UI was shitty, though, even at the time.

            • by pnot (96038)

              Plain old water's less of a problem since it will just evaporate over time, and grease is non-conductive -- stout is both more conductive and harder to get out of nooks and crannies, alas. Maybe lots of rinsing and patient drying would have done the trick in my case...

              It tasted a bit funny after I'd fished the phone out too.

    • by Urkki (668283)

      The great thing about my smartphone now is that there are no moving parts (except for the vibration motor). How many bends until the phone breaks in half?

      Well, how many cycles of deformation does something like... car tyre take before it breaks down because of deformations?

      Or how many rotations does a car engine take before even the bearings and seals need fixing?

      Or, more electronic example, how many vibrations does a speaker take before it rips itself apart, or the connectors shake loose, or soldered joints break?

      Now many bends is a bendable phone expected to take during a lifetime of... let's say, 3 years? Compared to the above exaples, why would it be imp

  • FTA:

    The smart phone prototype [..] has the gadget world buzzing with ideas about future products, and how exactly this product would enter the market. It is hard to imagine a phone that requires both your hands’ focus to control

    Sure, because one can operate an iphone with just one hand. Since the smartphone, it seems to me that phones that can be operated single-handedly are things of the past.

    • by rossdee (243626)

      For many years we have had technology to enable a car to be controlled by one hand (and no pedals) but it doesn't seem to have caught on.

    • by ianezz (31449)
      Uhm, perhaps it's just me, but other than when doing the pinch gesture to zoom in/out, I use my phone with one hand (a Samsung Galaxy S2). And there are other ways to zoom (albeit more awkward).
    • by Pieroxy (222434)

      FTA:

      The smart phone prototype [..] has the gadget world buzzing with ideas about future products, and how exactly this product would enter the market. It is hard to imagine a phone that requires both your hands’ focus to control

      Sure, because one can operate an iphone with just one hand.

      Hmm, yes, actually one can. And I do it on a pretty regular basis. This was even an argument invoked by Apple for not making a bigger screen iPhone, because the Galaxy S II for example *cannot* be operated with one hand as the screen is too large.

      Granted, it's more comfortable with both hands but it does work and is useable with one hand. I'm sure all Android phones with a screen smaller or equal than an iPhone (Nexus one for example) can as well be operated with one hand.

      • I can operate an Evo with one hand. I also have very small hands (16.25cm from base of palm to tip of the middle finger.)
        • I can operate an Evo with one hand. I also have very small hands (16.25cm from base of palm to tip of the middle finger.)

          Where else but on slashdot would you find someone who can on a whim state to four significant digits the length from the base of his palm to the tip of his middle finger.

      • by MrHanky (141717)

        Like the other guy said, the Galaxy S2 can be operated with one hand. However, writing on a qwerty keyboard with one hand is far more painful than on a T9, and qwerty on a touch screen is even worse. Try doing it while walking. With actual keys you can rely on tactile feedback in addition to your eyes, with a capacitive touch screen you enter text on the mere touch of the screen. Typing on a modern touch screen demands far more attention and is far more error prone than a T9 (and no, your beloved autocorrec [damnyouautocorrect.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The only way to improve on the idea of a phone that requires you to bend with BOTH hands to control it, would be if they could figure out a way to make a phone that required both hands AND a foot, or perhaps both hands and a tongue!

  • Good thing people never put their phones in their pockets, where they will twist in an uncontrolled an accidental way.

    I once started receiving calls from my brother every couple of minutes for a half-hour. When I answered, I could hear background noises, but he never replied to my shouts of "Hello?!?".

    It turned out that he was umpiring his kid's little league game, and every time he squatted down, he was inadvertently pressing the "Call" button, which was redialing the last number he had called (mine).

    • by TeknoHog (164938)
      Good thing people don't learn to use the key/screen lock. Otherwise your brother wouldn't call you that often ;)
      • by zmollusc (763634)

        Maybe the key/screen lock was like on my old LG, where to unlock the key/screen, all you had to do was apply pressure to the screen. Yeah, really. Someone got paid to duhsign that.

    • by pnot (96038)

      Good thing people never put their phones in their pockets, where they will twist in an uncontrolled an accidental way.

      So why couldn't a lock feature work for a bending UI, as it does for buttons and touchscreens?

  • This looks awesome! I can't wait until Apple re-invents this, infuses magic in it, innovates, and gets it right. It will change everything. Again.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      and then patent it and sue nokia for infringement

      HA! My first captcha was cellular

  • That Apple has this copyrighted?

  • Its not a phone (Score:4, Informative)

    by citizenr (871508) on Saturday October 29, 2011 @03:23AM (#37877228) Homepage

    Its a picture frame concept. Even the booth was named "bendable DEVICE prototype", not bendable smartphone.

  • In Bellevue, WA, US, there's a filing office where IP is stored. It contains the secrets of Orange, of Sendo, of others who've partnered with Microsoft on the long journey to a useful Microsoft phone. All these gave up their IP for free, under the terms that Microsoft would help them build a mobile future - but Microsoft got their IP out of receivership when the venture failed because they hand the foresight to insist on that in the contract.

    They've already racked the filing cabinets where Nokia's IP wil

  • by symbolset (646467) *
    Nokia is still in business. Why?
  • by Hentes (2461350) on Saturday October 29, 2011 @04:46AM (#37877436)

    Cool tech but from the video you could do the same by using 4 buttons at the corners.

  • by ctrl-alt-canc (977108) on Saturday October 29, 2011 @07:07AM (#37877750)
    When the corners of the device are bent by the user they become rounded, and Apple can sue you!!!
  • The thing they DIDN'T point out, of course, is that you'll need TWO (or more) hands. You can't do all that bending and twisting with one hand.

  • I'm looking for a phone I can control by running over it with a truck.
    • by Snard (61584)

      You can control your current phone this way. Unfortunately, the only command available through this interface is "disconnect call".

  • The thing that was demoed was not a "phone," but a bendable screen & chassis. They still need to develop bendable motherboards, processors, batteries, etc.

    • Flexible motherboards and batteries already exist.
      The screen was one of the hard ones actually.

      Processor doesn't necessarily have to bend, depending on size and position and amount of bendiness.

  • Yeah!
    Stroke that OLED baby! Go nuts!

    • by PPH (736903)
      I don't know about you, but when I'm watching porn, mine doesn't bend any more.
  • Other gestures include pounding it on any hard surface or throwing it across the room.

    Future versions will include moisture sensors to detect the inevitable users' sobbing over the device.

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