The »Shape-Changing Mobile« leverages our sensitivity for the shape of hand-held things.
The prototype consists of a mobile-phone shaped box, which employs an actuated back plate: It can be tilted. The actuation is achieved through the combinatory movements of a number of servo motors. This makes it possible for the device to be thin in the pocket, but in dynamic shape when held in hands.
In the pocket, a mobile phone should be thin. When held in hands, it should ideally be tapered downwards. The Shape-Changing Mobile allows for all of this, it changes its shape according to its context of usage.
A dynamically adjustable shape allows for the addition of thickness to digital content. For example, when reading an e-book, a large body of remaining pages can be indicated through the increasing of the device's thickness on the respective side.
Determining where the phone's shape is pointing doesn't require the phone to be looked at – it appears to be especially suitable for mobile navigation. In such an application, the phone simply points into the walking direction by deforming towards it.