While modular smartphones like Fairphone and Google’s Project Ara are still pretty much moonshots at this stage, a team at the University of Bristol’s Interaction Group has one-upped both with a slick modular touchscreen display that can change into different shapes.
The Cubimorph is a single display built out of smaller, six-sided display cubes that are daisy-chained together. At first glance, it looks a little bit like a Rubik’s Cube, with each block containing a touchscreen display, and more flexibility.
The device uses an algorithm to determine the path each block takes to transform the device seamlessly from one shape into another. The most obvious use for this right now is gaming. Imagine that you hold the Cubimorph like a block for texting, then automatically have it transform into a gaming console when you want to play.
But that’s just the start. The group wants to eventually develop the tech so it adapts to peculiarities in the hands of the user, like if there was impairment or deformation.
The project was recently presented at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation, in Stockholm, Sweden.