Connected devices with huge 4" and bigger displays might be all the rage in today’s smartphone market but Nokia Research is going one step further with its concept phone for the future and turning the entire device into a morphing touchscreen display.
The Nokia GEM concept phone can change its appearance depending on the function you select; it becomes a camera when you want to take pictures, a map when you are lost and a game controller when you want to play.
"Now, when you launch an application like the camera, your mobile phone still looks like a mobile phone, but with GEM, when you launch the camera application, the whole phone looks like a camera," revealed Nokia Research Centre senior design manager Jarkko Saunamäki, who led the team which invented GEM.
"There is no default appearance. If you play a lot of games it will usually resemble a games pad, for example," he added.
Concept phones which utilize the entire device as a display are becoming more and more popular, however; many designers are achieving this by keeping their creations transparent. Earlier this year luxury phone maker Mobiado teamed up with British luxury sports car manufacturer to create a transparent glass touchscreen smartphone called the CPT002.
Designers Wenhing Chu & Kok Keong Wong previewed a futuristic transparent touch phone with twin-splitting displays on design blog Yanko Design in September.
A video featuring the Nokia GEM can be seen on YouTube.
A second, and more impressive device is shown in a YouTube video posted by Jarkko Saunamäki. The video shows a transparent, flexible and waterproof concept device called the HumanForm that uses a kinetic user interface.
Saunamäki explains that the "Nokia HumanForm is a visionary solution for a dynamically flexible device beyond touch screen and voice communication where technology is invisible and intuition takes over."
The advanced technology used in the HumanForm follows on from the Nokia Kinetic Device prototype the company debuted at Nokia Word in October.
The GEM and HumanForm concept designs have been released to mark Nokia Research Centre’s 25th anniversary.