Flexible display technology has long been touted as a differentiating factor for the smartphones of the future, but many of the use cases we've heard about have focused on increased durability. Researchers at Queens University's Human Media Lab are looking at a different use with a prototype device called the MorePhone. The MorePhone can actually "morph" its shape to silently but very noticeably alert users to a phone call, message, or any other notification you choose. The flexible, electrophoretic display — which looks quite similar to the flexible e-paper display LG showed off last year —is able to change shape thanks to shape memory alloy wires beneath the display that contract when a notification is received. The phone's entire body can curl up, or up to three individual corners — so you can set different notifications to trigger different shape changes.
As you can see in the demo video, the MorePhone is hardly ready for prime time — it's little more than a bunch of wiring hooked up to a flexible display, not the kind of product one can put in their pocket or purse. But while it isn't ready for prime time quite yet, the team behind it thinks that shipping products could take advantage of this technology within the next five to 10 years. By then, we're expecting the MorePhone will have features more familiar to current smartphone owners — like the ability to function without a huge set of wires coming out the side.