Rubik's Magic Puzzle becomes tablet

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Belgian researchers are working on a concept for a flexible smartphone/tablet that leverages engineering principles of the Rubik’s Magic Puzzle.

The concept, called Paddle, will be easy to build and can be used as game controller, smart watch or e-reader, Tweakers reports.

The folding design will allow user to fold the device and use it for multiple purposes.

Paddle is a highly deformable device that can be transformed to different shapes. It bridges the gap between differently sized mobile available devices nowadays, such as phones and tablets, according to Raf Ramakers, a PhD. Student in Human Computer Interaction at Hasselt University in Hasselt, Belgium.

Paddle / Photo:

“We designed and implemented a prototype system of which the engineering principles are based on the design of the Rubik's magic, a folding plate puzzle. Additionally, we explore the interaction techniques enabled by this concept and conduct an in-depth study to evaluate our transformable physical controls. Our findings show that these physical controls provide several benefits over traditional touch interaction techniques commonly used on mobile devices,” according to Ramakers.

The researchers will present their project at CHI conference in Toronto, Canada, at the end of April.