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A flexible polymer circuit, shown here, could someday be replaced by a cheap and flexible ...

Given the low costs and extensive applications that could be possible with flexible paper circuit boards, we've seen many ideas for their production, from printing with silver ink to embedding chips within paper. Now, however, scientists have developed an elegant method for selectively changing the very nature of the paper itself into conductive graphite. Unlike polymer-based flexible circuits, these paper circuits are, ironically, able to withstand the high temperatures generally used in the production of electronics.  Read More

The MorePhone prototype smartphone curls up to indicate an incoming call or message

Researchers at Queen’s University’s Human Media Lab have developed a prototype smartphone that uses shape-changing capabilities to let the user know of an incoming call, text or email. Built around a thin, flexible electrophoretic display manufactured by Plastic Logic, the MorePhone can curl its entire body to indicate a call, or curl up to three individual corners to indicate a particular message.  Read More

Some of the shape-shifting Morphee prototypes that boast different 'shape resolution'

There may soon be another technical specification to consider when buying a mobile device. Researchers from the University of Bristol and the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI Saarbrücken) have coined the term “shape resolution” to indicate the self-actuated shape-shifting abilities they believe will be featured in the next generation of mobile devices. To demonstrate this new metric, the researchers have developed a number of prototype shape-shifting devices they have dubbed “Morphees,” which have the potential to change their shape on demand, depending on the desired use.  Read More

The patent reveals Apple's vision of the iPhone's future

A new release by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) might just provide a glimpse of the future of Apple's popular iPhone handset. The filing details an “electronic device with wrap around display” and includes a number interesting design features, paramount among which is its curved display and transparent housing.  Read More

The Volta Racer is powered by a flexible polycrystalline silicon solar panel

If you want to teach children about hydrogen power, you can always buy them a fuel cell-powered toy car like the H-ROVER. Should you wish to show them the merits of solar power, there are also quite a number of solar panel-equipped cars from which to choose. ToyLabs’ new Volta Racer, however, is reportedly the first toy car to feature a flexible polycrystalline silicon solar panel.  Read More

Scientists have replicated the flexible-but-tough internal structure of the sea sponge, to...

Chances are that if you were heading into battle, you wouldn’t wish that you were covered in sponges. It turns out that the sea sponge, however, has a unique structure that allows it to be flexible while remaining relatively impervious to predators. Scientists have now simulated this structure, in a lab-created material that may someday find use in body armor.  Read More

Skin as seen from the side, showing how the Stratflex technology creates natural curves

Whatever you personally think of flat pack furniture, it appeals to many people. Thanks to a combination of availability and affordability, it's become insanely popular for those who don't want to spend a fortune on unique pieces for their home. It's these unique pieces we tend to cover here at Gizmag, and the Stratflex Collection from Wintec Innovation offers a form of flat pack furniture that is anything but banal.  Read More

Chuck offers a flexible shelving solution to those with changing needs

Chuck is a flexible shelving unit by Natascha Harra-Frischkorn that can be considered either functional art or artistic furniture, depending on your point of view. The idea behind Chuck is a set of shelves that can be adapted to its owner's changing needs, with the six shelves literally able to be bent and shaped to your whim.  Read More

Researchers have created a bendable, transparent polymer that acts as an image sensor (Pho...

A research team from the Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria has developed an image capturing device using a single sheet of polymer that is flat, flexible and transparent. The researchers say the new image sensor could eventually find its way into devices like digital cameras and medical scanners, and that it may help to usher in a new generation of gesture-controlled smartphones, tablets and TVs.  Read More

The PaperTab flexible tablet developed at Queen's University

Despite their portability and popularity, the slab of glass form factor of tablets has its downsides. Most notably for the less coordinated among us is the propensity for the display to crack or shatter when dropped. A team at Canada’s Queen’s University working in collaboration with Intel Labs and Plastic Logic is looking not only to redefine the tablet's form, but the way people use them with the development of a flexible touchscreen computer called the PaperTab.  Read More

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