Hey, your phone seems to be waving at you.
Here’s something to add to the list of things you probably didn’t think you needed: bendable, rollable speakers.
The future of computing is looking bendy. PaperTab looks to combine the tangibility of paper with the speed and convenience of digital.
There is some sort of fundamental physical law that prevents cables from ever being just exactly the length you need them to be. Cables are always, always, just barely too short, or much much too long. Obviously, this annoys scientists just as much as it does the rest of us, so they've come up with a solution: stretchable cables full of liquid metal.
Not even Star Trek imagined a future where electronics would be both flexible and transparent. And let's be honest: it's hard to imagine such gadgets even today, since seeing one or the other is still a rare enough thing. If anything is going to make it happen, though, it's carbon nanotubes, especially now that they've been made into transparent films.
The days of electronic circuitry with stiff circuit boards are a thing of the past; stretchable electronics are taking over. We already saw microelectronics used in sutures to monitor for infection, and now stretchable skin with microelectronics for monitoring health conditions is readying for a debut.
Just imagine how great it would be if you could drop your cellphone and it would bounce rather than break. Or if you could run over your laptop with a tank and it would just blob out and reform itself. This is the sort of thing that's possible with stretchable and flexible electronics, and it's being worked on right now.
We're in a bit of a rut right now when it comes to exciting hardware innovations in smartphones. When the iPhone hit the scene in 2007, it was the touchscreen that saw it revolutionize the cellular landscape. Now, the next disruptive feature appears to be just around the corner, as flexible displays are getting mass produced in a big way.