We’ve seen large smartphones and curved screen smartphones but have you ever seen a smartphone that completely bends? iPhone 6 jokes aside, Kyocera is trying to make that a reality with its latest prototype, the Kyocera Proteus.
First displayed at Japan’s CEATEC exhibition last month, Kyocera introduced to the world the Proteus, a smartphone that could bend itself completely while still retaining function. Many mobile giants have attempted to create curved screen devices such as LG’s G Flex and Samsung’s Gear S but both are still restricted to their own respective forms and none of it can truly bend.
The highlight of the Kyocera Proteus prototype is that its functions revolve around the three form factors it can adopt when bent. The first form is the panel, which is reminiscent of a conventional smartphone albeit much more thinner and bezel-less. The second form is bracelet, which essentially turns the device into a wearable. The Proteus is wrapped around an arm and beneath its display, it packs an array of sensors to monitor heart rate, distance traveled and more. The third form is drape, where the device is draped over a rail such as a bicycle’s handlebar which allows users to glance information without much hassle.
The Kyocera Proteus, if successful, will be the first smartphone-wearable hybrid and also the first device to fully maximize the use of bendable screens. However, the project is still a long way off from large scale manufacturing. Several problems are plaguing the prototype, including the display that is to be used, which of course AMOLED is preferred. Another issue is how to fit a battery to power a bendable smartphone. The keyboard will also prove difficult as the orientation and size will vary when used in its different forms.
The Kyocera Proteus despite being a prototype may be a peek into the future of the smartphone industry with its bold ideas. However, we must temper our enthusiasm with a dose of reality; a lot of work needs to be done to address its many issues before we can see this device as a realistic successor to conventional smartphones.