Motorola isn't having the best of times and this - I'd wager - isn't going to help it.
Off the back of a quarter which has seen Motorola's CEO resign and the company turn in hari-kari results that show a 38 per cent drop in sales, it has filed patents for something radical to save itself: a 'rollable' mobile phone screen.
The abstract from the filing is geek at its best, divulging: "...an interface that is made of a flexible material and has an active position and an inactive position. The interface is coupled with a reservoir. The reservoir is used for storing electrorheological fluid. The user interface system also includes a source that is coupled to the reservoir. The source is used for applying an electric field to the electrorheological fluid when the interface is in the active position."
Now, stepping away from the waffle, let's cut straight to the chase: a rollable (which isn't even a word, incidentally) mobile phone screen is a horrible idea. After all, in a market where the latest handsets are well under 10mm thin why would anyone need a handset which rolls up like a carpet into a fat tubular shape? Besides, do we really need any more "...or are you just happy to see me?" jokes? Nope.
Now bendable ePaper is a good idea, but in a phone? It's just madness. Real world scenario:
-That's my phone ringing, I'll just get it out my pocket, unroll it, straighten out the curls and then answer.
So look Motorola, we all know you've had a hard time of things but Snap out of It! This is not sensible. As a gift of goodwill here's a clue for 2008/9: full screen facia, touchscreen interface, ultra thin, HSDPA, flash memory, AVI codec support, long battery life, scratch resistant. Now go away and try again. I'll expect to see your homework in Q4...