20.05.16

Researchers design smartphone made from touchscreen blocks

Cubimorph prototype

University researchers have introduced a prototype which could potentially change how we think of the modern-day smartphone. They have utilised touchscreen cubes with interactive screens on each side to develop the ‘Cubimorph.’

A nod to the Rubik’s Cube, research teams from Purdue, Lancaster and Sussex have presented a take on the smartphone that’s less frustrating and considerably more fun than the combination puzzle.

The device incorporates a hinge-mounted turntable mechanism to self-reconfigure in the operator’s hand to suit their requirements. Researchers state that six separate modules can be daisy chained to form a variety of mobile devices, including game or control pads.

The product is in the first stages of development according to research lead, Dr Anne Roudaut, lecturer and Leverhulme fellow in the Bristol Interaction and Graphics group. She hopes the prototype could be instrumental in the development of a modular interactive device in the future. She commented:  “We hope our work will create discussion between the human computer interaction and robotics communities that could be of benefit to one another other.”

Bristol Interaction Group have showcased the Cubimorph’s mechanical design and three prototypes demonstrating key aspects (turntable hinges, embedded touchscreens and miniaturization) at this week’s International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) in Stockholm, Sweden. 

Source: Bristol Interaction Group