:shocked!: Sony is developing a credit-card-sized flexible computer with no buttons or other hardware. To manipulate information, users will bend and twist the device, called Gummi.
"[Gummi inventor Carsten] Schwesig has already developed several Gummi applications, including a map, a web browser, a photo album, a simple game and a text input system. 'This might lead to products such as maps, tourist information browsers or games embedded into hotel keys or travel tickets,' he says.
"Sony envisages paper-thin gadgets no bigger than a credit card, made from several layers of components: a flexible organic light-emitting display (OLED), flexible electronic circuitry, a touch-sensitive panel on the back of the device, and an embedded piezoelectric sensor. The resulting device would have no conventional mechanical parts. You would steer the cursor using a touch panel on the reverse of the mini PC, while pushing the middle of the device in or out would let you browse through a menu. Bending could also control tasks such as zooming in and out of a map, controlling the playback speed of video files and editing the composition of image layers."
There's a Quicktime movie here
of the Gummi in action; I'm impressed by how sophisticated the images and browser look. From the video, it also looks like navigation is very intuitive. The current Gummi prototype, while containing all the necessary components, isn't quite down to credit card size yet - prototypes of the credit-card-size Gummi are about three years away, according to the article. (But I want one now!) I'm intrigued by the thought that these could be aimed at travelers, in the form of room keys or tickets - that implies that the components might be relatively inexpensive. Are disposable computers "in the cards"? :splat: