Nokia World 2011: Live coverage
Nokia Kinetic flexible phone hands-on
Nokia unveiled a couple of really interesting prototypes at the start of the second day of Nokia World 2011. We give you the first of those - the Nokia Kinetic flexible phone. The device comes with a large flexible OLED display that you can bend from the middle or from around the edges.
But being able to bend is not its only feature. It actually uses that ability to control the UI on the device. You can, for example, zoom in and out by bending it from the middle. You can scroll through a list by bending it from around the edges.
The advantage of this method is that it can be used without looking at the display and also when you're using gloves, something that capacitive touchscreens cannot do. The downside is that you have to use both hands and it's not terribly convenient, with far too much effort being required to flex the device compared to simply tapping on the screen.
That's really one of the most impressive bits of technology that we saw at the event. If Nokia actually manage to turn it into a market ready device it might completely change the way we are using our cell phones.
First of all, we've never seen a screen with such wide viewing angles - there's virtually NO shift in colors or contrast no matter how you look at it. The contrast itself is as good as you'd expect from an OLED, blacks being as deep as it gets.
The resolution of the screen might be just WVGA, but it doesn't take anything away from its brilliance. On top of the screen there's some sort of plastic protection as obviously glass won't bend. Unfortunately, that means it could be prone to scratches in real-life use.
And here's this marvelous piece of technology on video.
Hydrophobic nanocoating demo
The other impressive prototype that the Nokia R&D team had to show was a Nokia 700 featuring an amazing hydrophobic coating, which acts as a water shield.
The "hydrophobic nanocoating" is a layer of nanostructures which forms a very thin layer of air on the surface of the phone and prevents water from entering penetrating it.
Such coating can be applied to both the body and the internals of the phone, allowing great water resistance to be achieved without adding extra weight or unnecessary bulkiness.
Here's the walkthrough of the technology, as provided by one of the Nokia representatives.