Ok, this new flexible tablet model is nuts, but can we just scroll with it? The researchers from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada have come up with an idea of the scroll-like smart device.
The scroll is also known as MagicScroll works in both scenarios when its 7.5-inch display is rolled out or when it is rolled up like a paper scroll.
However, this gadget is just a concept in its infancy and there are no sureties that any such product will hit the market or reach commercialization.
The researchers from Queen’s University in Ontario have developed an archetype foldaway display device similar to that of a parchment scroll. The MagicScroll that was displayed at the MobileHCI 2k18 conference in Barcelona earlier this month can operate in an unrolled format like a tablet and also in the cylinder form.
Since it is a prototype, the researchers have only shown a few uses so far, including calling someone or scrolling through a web page using the magnetic rotary encoders on the ends of the cylinder.
The display then can be further spread out to display more information, a feature almost similar to the mechanism of smartphones repositioning content when switching from landscape mode to portrait mode. The gadget also allows the users to access apps and make calls.
The MagicScroll comes with a 7.5-inch, flexible, 2160 x 1920, OLED display with multitouch (that is actually two 5.5-inch LG G Flex 2 displays merged together), and also a 3D-printed cylindrical body.
Inside the cylinder are two Android circuit boards (running Android 5.1 Lollipop), three lithium-ion batteries (one of them is 300mAh battery for the actuated wheels on either side of the scroll and two of them are 600mAh for the system), and the other typical components of tablets and smartphones.
MagicScroll As the Future
By seeing the demonstration of the capability of the flexible display, the MagicScroll seems to be fine as it can also be used in a more compact view in its rolled-up mode or as a large-screen device like a conventional tablet. However, I don’t see any scope for taking this idea any further than this.
The concept of rolling up a tablet to save up on space is commendable but by adding the wheels to the side, especially for scrolling isn’t worthy. Scrolling with a finger feels more spontaneous, and also, we all need less mass on the sides of our devices, not more.
Using a touchscreen cylindrical device, to make calls as shown in the demonstration seems impractical. However, as far as I feel there is still a lot of work needed to be done upon the smartphone call interfaces as I sometimes myself fumble for the number when asked to press a key during an automated call. Thus, I feel providing a smaller space on a cylindrical display isn’t the solution. clear access to the call and cancel buttons as well as to the number keys is the best approach to this problem. A solution that normal smartphones have achieved long back.