3/17/09

Smart People Making Even Smarter Phones

In order to think really big, sometimes you start by reinventing on the smallest scale possible.

Take the idea of “shape-shifting smartphones.” This month, InformationWeek mentioned a collaborative research project between Carnegie Mellon and Pittsburgh’s Intel Lab. (Sidenote: Carnegie Mellon’s Collaborative Innovation Center (CIC), which houses the Intel lab, is the only place you'll also find Google, Apple and a Microsoft sponsored lab — under the same roof.)

While “shape-shifting” may bring to mind sci-fi flicks, this team will have you thinking instead of a phone made of materials that get bigger or smaller depending on what you want to do with it.

Need your phone to fit in your ear? Need the same phone, minutes later, to be large enough to surf the Web? These shape-shifting phones, dubbed by some as “tiny terminators,” will always come up with the answer you are looking for in the shape that fits.

InformationWeek cites the work of Intel Pittsburgh’s senior researcher and Carnegie Mellon adjunct staff Jason Campbell. According to Campbell, the science to make these smartphones a reality is still three to five years away.

Contemplating the size of future reincarnations of your BlackBerry or iPhone? Watch Campbell explain these futuristic phones.

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