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First flexible phones will be a novelty suggests BlackBerry design head

Flexible phones keep threatening to make their way into the realms of reality, but once they do, industry designers have warned the first flexible phones will be little more than a novelty.

With the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and upcoming Huawei handsets expected to feature revolutionary flexible displays, Todd Wood, Senior Vice President of Design at BlackBerry has claimed early flexible phones will be little more than a ‘novelty’ product.

“Flexible phones are something that we have seen and designers have dreamed about for years and it could lead to interesting and exciting new form factors,” Wood said in an exclusive interview with TrustedReviews. “People are always looking for something new, new frontiers and novelties are great.”

Although not completely downbeat on the idea of futuristic flexible phones, Wood, who highlighted a number of possible benefits from such devices, suggested now might not be the right time to rush such products to market.
 “Just because you can make flexible, curved screen phones doesn’t mean you should,” the design head told us.
Assessing potential pitfalls of curved, flexible screen phones, he stated: “If you’ve got a curved screen, one of the things for certain that we learned from televisions is that it will always catch some light in the room that will get in the way of the content on the screen.

“Designers always wanted them [TVs] to be flat to manage reflections. Curvature, whether it is concave or convex, will begin to pick up its surroundings so then you start to have to deal with coatings and the such.”

Suggesting that the first flexible phones will be more trial and error attempts than finalised efforts at the emerging technology, Wood warned that “there will be design challenges with the first flexible phones” that could affect overall performance.

He stated: “The situation with flexible phones is like any invention, there will be lots of experimentation taking place until somebody gets it right. It will be no different to any other invention in that respect, there will be trials but maybe there will be success.”

Looking beyond the first-generation flexible phones, Wood has predicted that bendable displays could open up new avenues within the tech sector, with the repeatedly rumoured likes of the Apple iWatch just one of many future products expected to make use of such advancements.

“I think the possibility could be exciting for fit-to-hand and fit-to-face devices and mobility in general,” Wood said. “Those are things we love as a company at BlackBerry but in the end consumers vote and that is the ultimate design contest.”

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