Is It a Crane? Is It Paper? Is It a Phone? NO! It’s the Origami Phone!
A phone made of paper that you can fold and actually use. That’s the concept Chengyuan Wei designed when he spent some time thinking creatively about the classic telephone. The Origami Handset is a sublime expression of lightness crafted by Chengyuan Wei of Weii Design.
The “Paper Phone,” a thin piece of translucent film similar to a conference badge was recently announced by a Canadian research team. The prototype features a touch-sensitive bendable surface that may one day replace today’s standard flat touch screen. One benefit of this type of innovation is its ability to be embedded in clothing.
The concept phone does away with the plastic and over-sized circuitry to make a paper phone with a few spare electronics, and joins a few others in leading innovation in mobile devices, with a particular emphasis on stripping down phones’ form to its essentials.
Currently living and working in the city of Hangzhou, Wei has been putting his education at Zhejiang University to good use, designing a number of esthetically pleasing items such as a self-balancing, Segway-style scooter for the INNO company and the eco-friendly, solar powered Light Gap clock.
It’s Wei’s minimalist telephone handset, however, that perhaps most succinctly expresses the artist’s rejection of “a unified system… created by big commercial corporations.” After disassembling a telephone handset one day, Wei discovered that “all the functional parts only took a small space inside the handset. So I thought maybe I can design a unique handset which has a light and material-efficient structure.”
Looking at the Origami Handset, you can see that these kinds of electronic devices really have very few parts and most of those are comprised of thin, flat circuit boards. One realizes that these types of handsets could be much smaller than they have always been; the only things holding back miniaturization are issues of practicality.
And, taking the “paper-thin” lesson one step further, other researchers have developed an invisible phone, whose prototype can serve as a shortcut to free hands from the necessity of having to actually retrieve the physical phone to communicate.
While there are obstacles to overcome with this idea, researchers hope that one day, for example, a person can just press a finger on their palm to silence a call’s ring, rather than have their activity be interrupted by having to attend to the device.
Developers and innovators are constantly looking at new ways users can interact with their devices, and the Origami phone is an example of one very artful, elegant possibility.
Originally posted 2012-04-05 13:39:17.