'PaperPhone': Cellphone of the Future?

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Greg Harper, president of technology consulting firm HarperVision, said that while no one has yet introduced a flexible smartphone ready for public consumption, the creators of the PaperPhone are not the first to toy with an interactive flexible digital ink display. Private companies are working on similar computing devices and the Mountain View, Calif.-based Plastic Logic has a flexible display ereader that is reportedly ready, but has not yet been released because of competition, Harper said.

Researchers -- both public and private -- may understand the challenges involving the display, touch and assembling the components, but successful execution is another matter, he said.

Still, Harper added, flexible devices are indeed on their way, though be believes it won't necessarily be in the magnitude Vertegaal predicts.

"I don't think it's the future of [smartphones], but I think it will be a component of it," he said. "It will be there but there is still work to be done."

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