phoneNewWayToInteractwithEbooksWhat if you could read books in E Ink via a cell phone cover—but also be able to flip through them with help from a speedier LCD? Or maybe use the LCD instead as your main screen when you wanted to?

Those are some of the possibilities arising from the FlipCase, a concept still in the research stage. Check out this video. As described there, “the user quickly flips through multiple pages by bending an edge and turns a single page by bending a corner.” Meanwhile the LCD would display the flip-related view much faster than E Ink can these days.

For some, the experience might come tantalizingly close to mimicking the ergonomics of old-fashioned page flipping with a paper book. Nate worries about wear-and-tear: I myself would like to know more before reaching a conclusion. Imagine the possibilities for reference books and textbooks in particular, not to mention travel guides and other books where you might do lots of page-flipping. While the concept probably wouldn’t replace current interfaces for most users, it could be very useful for those in need of these capabilities.

Developing the FlipCase are University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria and Microsoft. For more details, check out Gizmodo. And, yes, there are plenty of other potential applications beyond books, such as e-mail.


  1. Interesting idea, but not for me.

    What I’d like see is an idea I seem to recall being marketed by a cellular company in Germany. A user’s smartphone does the heavy lifting of running an ereader app (or whatever), but the result, rather than being displayed on the smartphone’s screen appears on device that’s little more than an epaper screen with Bluetooth to get page data from the smartphone. Simple means cheap.

    You can think of it as like the Apple Watch, but with a screen that’s actually large enough to be useful. Users could read books, look at webpages, follow a map or whatever. Their phone could stay a reasonable size while this screen could be much larger and perhaps even fold up when put away. Buttons would let them navigate. They could read in bright sunlight and turning off the screen illumination would give a quite long battery life.

    Amazon would be the most likely possibility for a developer or promoter, although Apple might be a possibility, since it could be a spin-off of the Apple Watch’s technology. It’d certainly eliminate one of the most irritating features of all smartphones and the Apple Watch, their inability to be read in bright sunlight.

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