Microsoft announced in January that their Research Division was in the process of developing a secondary screen for their Lumia smartphones that had an e-ink screen. It looks like they are making some serious headway because they have just posted a new video that demonstrates how the technology works.
Microsoft outlined the technology in a statement “FlexCase is a novel flip cover for smartphones, which brings flexible input and output capabilities to existing mobile phones. It combines an e-paper display with a pressure- and bend-sensitive input sensor to augment the capabilities of a phone. Due to the form factor, FlexCase can be easily transformed into several different configurations, each with different interaction possibilities. We can use FlexCase to perform a variety of touch, pressure, grip and bend gestures in a natural manner, much like interacting with a sheet of paper. The secondary e-paper display can act as a mechanism for providing user feedback and persisting content from the main display.
In this paper, we explore the rich design space of FlexCase and present a number of different interaction techniques. Beyond, we highlight how touch and flex sensing can be combined to support a novel type of gestures, which we call Grip & Bend. We also describe the underlying technology and gesture sensing algorithms. Numerous applications apply the interaction techniques in real-world examples, including enhanced e-paper reading and interaction, a new copy-and-paste metaphor, high degree of freedom 3D and 2D manipulation, and the ability to transfer content and support input between displays in a natural and flexible manner.”
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.