Whether it’s a smartphone, tablet or human machine interface (HMI), most touchscreen devices feature a flat, hard display interface. That may soon change, however, as researchers have developed a new type of touchscreen device that features a flexible display interface. As reported by TechCrunch, researchers from the Human Media Lab at Queen’s University are working on a flexible touchscreen device. While there a few other flexible touchscreen devices on the market, this one differs in the sense that it features a scrolling mechanism.
Known as the MagicScroll, the bold new device features a fully functional 7.5-inch capacitive touchscreen interface that’s encased in a protective covering. The MagicScroll features two knobs — one on each side — that the user can grab and turn with his or her hands. Most important, the MagicScroll has been ergonomically designed so that users can type using their thumbs while using their other fingers to turn the knobs.
So, what can you can expect to see the MagicScroll available for sale? The device is still in the early stages of development. The team of researchers behind the project say that they’ve only produced a prototype. Therefore, it may take years before a final product is released — or it may never be released. Regardless, though, the MagicScroll offers an innovative take on existing touchscreen technology. With its flexible display interface and scrolling functionality, it’s a unique toushcreen device that could pave the way for other alternative touchscreen technologies.
When speaking about the MagicScroll, Rob Vertgaal, one of the project’s leaders, said that the group received inspiration from ancient scrolls. Thousands of years ago, people would create scrolls on which documents were stored and read. This design offered a simple yet effective way to store and read documents. Using a similar format for the MagicScroll, Vertgaal and his team are looking to create a modern-day scrolling tablet with a flexible touchscreen interface.
“We were inspired by the design of ancient scrolls because their form allows for a more natural, uninterrupted experience of long visual timelines,” Vertegaal said. “Another source of inspiration was the old rolodex filing systems that were used to store and browse contact cards.”
Of course, there are a few caveats to the MagicScroll. Reports indicate that it only displays 2K resolution. For consumers or business owners seeking higher resolutions, such as 4K, this probably isn’t the best solution. And because of its unique foldable design, the MagicScroll may be difficult to repair if it breaks.