Nokia’s Future Technology booth here at Nokia World 2011 has one undisputed standout demo: the Kinetic Device. So called because of the way users are supposed to interact with it, the Kinetic Device is extremely flexible and responds to being bent and twisted to navigate its simple UI. It’s built entirely out of plastic, which includes the bendy and attractive AMOLED display up front, and contains only the hardware required to power it and to sense user input. That means no phone functionality, no camera, no GPS, and no superfluous capacitive touchscreens. You’ll be right in consequently supposing that it’s not the most mature project Nokia has brewing in its labs, though the experience of actually using it was pleasing, reliable, and somewhat addictive.
Zooming into images is done by bending the phone’s sides back and bringing the middle towards you, while zooming out is achieved by performing the converse action. Scrolling through photos and music albums or altering the volume on a playing track relies on on a twisting maneuver. It all looks somewhat unwieldy when you’re observing it, and it’s not all that easy to describe, but adapting to the control scheme takes only a few seconds and once you know what you’re doing, it becomes extremely natural. Honestly, bend-to-zoom is miles ahead of pinch-to-zoom in terms of intuitive human interaction. Check it out on video below.