Scientists have developed a smartphone case prototype that acts as a secondary touchscreen with e-ink display that can be flexed, tapped and twisted to control the main display.
FlexCase, created by researchers from Microsoft and University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, allows users to interact with their phone in many unique ways.
The cover can be used as an extended visual clipboard that makes searching and typing easier. By bending the cover forward or backward, users can flip pages, zoom in and out, navigate pages and even rotate maps.
The e-ink display of FlexCase shows text in black and white. E-ink displays have long battery life and are not backlit, thus requiring very minimal power, ‘Tech Times’ reported.
The technology behind FlexCase is known as piezoelectricity. Certain objects can generate electricity when mechanical stress or vibrations are applied. Everyday motions can generate enough energy to be converted to electricity. The piezoelectric effect can be used in multiple applications, including electronic frequency generation, detection and production of sound.
By allowing users to stretch, compress, flex, tap and twist the cover, an appropriate amount of energy is being applied that generates an electrical charge to operate the device.