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The smartphone’s shape-shifting future

The smartphone of the future might lose its sleek, solid shell.   UW CSE’s Shwetak Patel, working with CSE grad Sidhant Gupta, ME undergraduate Tim Campbell, and CSE PhD alum Jeffrey Hightower (now at Intel Labs Seattle),  have developed a squeezable cellphone – called SqueezeBlock – which uses tiny motors built into the casing to mimic the behavior of a spring.  This novel feedback system changes its ‘shape’ to signal an alert to its user where visual and audible cues won’t suffice.

“‘You can imagine squeezing the phone to give you a little bit of information on its status – ring level, messages – without having to look at it,’ says Patel.”

This work was presented at ACM’s UIST 2010 last week in New York.

Read the full NewScientist article herePopular Science here.