ReFlex: a flexible smartphone with haptic feedback


The Human Media Lab, where I currently work as a postdoctoral fellow, just released ReFlex, a flexible smartphone with active haptic feedback—likely the world’s first.

What is interesting about this device is that, because its elastic qualities, it applies natural force feedback to the user’s hands when it is bent. This is complemented with active haptic feedback, shown in the video as sound, but actually meant to be felt with the fingers. The haptic feedback in this device is much more than the simple vibration in most mobile phones, instead, ReFlex is capable of providing complex haptic textures that emulate the physical features of a variety of materials.

ReFlex was the subject of a research paper published this week in the 10th ACM Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI) in Eindhoven, The Netherlands:

Strohmeier, P., Burstyn, J., Carrascal, J-P, V. Levesque and Vertegaal, R. ReFlex: A Flexible Smartphone with Active Haptic Feedback for Bend Input. In Proceedings of ACM TEI’16 Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction, ACM Press, 2016.

Drop me a line if you want to find out about ReFlex or other projects we are working on at the Human Media Lab.

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