A Shape-Shifting Cellphone That Changes the Center of Gravity For Different Uses

Imagine looking at Google Maps on your tablet, and feeling one corner grow heavier where your destination is located. Or reading an ebook on your phone, and being aware of the fatter side of the book.


This innovative design by Fabian Hemmert does just that, by using a moving battery on an axis to change not only the center of gravity, but also the shape of the gadget. Watch his TED talk in the video above to get a better sense of his prototype, which he worked on for his PhD at the Institution TU in Berlin, and then start imagining uses for his design—maybe a Weight Watchers app that expands or decreases the phone's size, dependant on how much weight you've lost that week? Or perhaps a music-playing app that sees the battery move around inside the phone, to the beat of the song?

It's only two weeks until the James Dyson Award closes and the shortlist is drawn up, so if you're a student with a bright idea for a product, firstly listen to the man himself talk about the competition here, and then enter over here. [Fabian Hemmert via James Dyson Award]

Illustration for article titled A Shape-Shifting Cellphone That Changes the Center of Gravity For Different Uses

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Man, if there's one thing I NEED, it's a cell phone with a different center of gravity depending on what I'm using it for. Call me stupid, but how did I ever cope with a world that doesn't have maps growing heavier on the edge nearest my destination.

Let's make this real: Cars should change center of gravity as they near pedestrians. They should exhibit body language from which the driver and passengers would feel the reassuring lurch of the car turning a cold shoulder to speeding motorists, or bending warmly toward a 7/11.

Now let's push this onto other technologies. Shake the device sideways for "no" and bob it up and down for "yes." Perfect for coffee makers, washing machines and power tools.

Why, this guy has done the whole world of service with his cockamamie PhD thesis.