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Guest BloodRabbit

Nokia Shapeshift

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Guest BloodRabbit


It’s been a while since I last posted something on this site, but her we go again(yes its another phone).


I came up with a new display idea that changes shape (ShapeShift).

It would probably need to be limited to a preset form (not like the colours on a display that has pixels). Like an ice cube bag when you fill it with water the shape is predetermined by the space inside the bag (if you don’t understand what I’m talking about here is a picture).


The way I see this working is that you have 2 layers of plastic, one flexible and the other hard with a liquid (that has the same refraction as the plastic) in between. It should also be possible to have more than on layer of flexible plastic (not unlimited). When you push more liquid between the layers they can form predetermined buttons on the surface. This should make the buttons on the touch screen easier to hit.

The device I've design here needs 2 layers.


Here is a picture where I try to illustrate my idea, it shows the phone whit just a single layer that can reshape itself.

I suggest you look at it in full size.






WxHxD: 11x5,5x1,2 cm

Screen Diag: 4 inch

weight guestimate: 125 grams


The UI design isn't the best, but I tried conveying the Idea as simple as I could


I tried to make the design interesting without jeopardizing the usability and keeping the size down.

Well I'll let the pictures speak for them selves.


Edit1: spelling

Edit2: Adeed a cutaway image.


Studio Shots









Screen demonstration screenlight off and on









No bump on screen






Thank you for reading my post and Im lookig forward to your comments



Rune Larsen


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cool idea BUT its not working.


your rendering does not translate your idea.


rather it makes me wonder... what is this slab like device?



rather than full on renderings.

i think sketches that showed the process of how your device worked would have been more useful.


you never want the 'client' thinking

"i dont get it"


your renderings, rather than showing your concept.


the only thing i get out of it, is "cool wallpaper"



you need to figure out a better way to describe your concept.. using less words and more helpful visuals.




also what the point of the 1inch of nothing where th e logo is?


with the qwerty keyboard layout... the left side of the keyboard... would be harder to reach than the right side.





also try putting a lightsource...


cuz i cant see anything on that device...


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Guest jmc

I agree with sketchy.


1. These are cool images but not really explaining very well.


2. Images are too dark and we can't feel the shapes and materials: add a light source.


3. I don't understand hoe your layers and ice cubes thing is associated with your renders.



And i have a question: why did you cut a corner: is it making it more beautiful or more ergonomic?


As soon as you'll clarify the concept and lighten your renders it will be pretty good!


Nice work.

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Guest *lovehurts_



even though i am unexperienced, i have to agree with sketchyd. ur renderings are awesome. its just that there isnt much detail such as the buttons or the textural area of the phone...


dont take this personally.


i love ur idea and ur renderings. keep up the good work.

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Won't work.


Can you explain why? because if you gives the reason why it cant work it can be more beneficial comment that for the designer and everybody? :)


I like the idea but i could not understand you plug one layer for phone and one layer for keyboard. I appreciate your willing to find new interface that ease the usage :)


If you shows the idea with the reason it will be more better for you and your design. Also you should focus on UI touch screened communication devices.


Look at work of Andrew Kim



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Guest Stoven

I had a very similar idea, but using piezoelectric polymers It would work exactly as an LCD screen. When a pixel on the piezoelectric polymer screen is charged it would change shape raising the surface creaing a tactile button.


Piezoelectric polymers are plastics that change shape when electrically charged. It was just an idea but I dont know how realistic it is. I know piezoelectric polymers are being used in muscle replacement research.


People can say it's not possible, but I bet this technology will be a reality in the near future.



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Guest BloodRabbit


My sketching skills are not the best, so thats out of the question, but I could probably make a better image to explain the concept.

As for the "slab like device" I tried to design something that Nokia actually could make, so it couldn't be to crazy.

I've never had a "client" that didn't understand what I made, probably because I've never had a client(unless we count free work for friends).

As I said earlier I'll see if I can make a better image to explain the idea(if I get the time).

Seeing as I don't work whit this stuff I do the parts I think is entertaining, and making good renders are one of them.

As for the part whit the logo, it's there because using that part of the phone is a strain and it shouldn't be so large that its hard to use in qwerty mode(I have a Nokia E90 that has about the same space before the actual keyboard begins).

If you can't see anything the contrast on your screen might be low, I've looked at the pictures on several screens and I haven't had any problem seeing the details.



1. and 2. I've commented/explained in my reply to Sketchyd

3.If you see on my renders there are renders with and without lights on, the ones that has the light off is represented with the light on right under.

What I tryed to explain whit the Icecube bag was the way you can rais and lower the buttons with liquid the same way you make icecubes from a bag that is flat before its filled. This could be done with some kind of pump.

If its still not clear how it works I'm not sure how to explain it without making an animation.


The corner was cut to have greater access to the screen area(for 90% of the population, right handed people).


*lovehurts :

I'm not sure what you mean when you talk about the details, is it the buttons on the screen or on the side?

I always take stuff personal :wacko: but only so I can improve.



Unless you explain what makes it "not work" your comment is useless.

I'd really like you to tell me why it won't work.



I'm having a bit of a problem understand what your typing, I'll try.

I'll see if I can get the time to make a picture that explains the touchscreen tech better.

If your telling me my UI sucks I'll have to agree, I tryed to make it as simple as possible so the focalpoint was the screen idea and not the UI.

I've looked at Andrew Kims phone before, he's made a nice phone and and his UI render is great.



I was think of doing a "pixel" based screen but in my mind it had to be way to advanced to use in a phone and since typing is the biggest problem on touchscreens I focused on that.

I agree this kind of thing will come, just maybe not the way my idea works(or yours for that matter :D).

I'd really like to see your idea aswell.





Thank you all for your great comments.

And sorry for my spelling(it gets even worse when I'm typing alot).




What i got from this:

I'll have to show/explain my screen idea better.

My screens contrast level might be way off(and several others).

I must rethink the size of my phone it might be to small(luckely thats just an edit in my first post :D).




Does it look better in red?







Rune Larsen

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the first sentence for Krabbenkoeig. He said `wont work`. I taught the one inch space was for the screen frontier and yeah if your are making touch screen devices you should emphasize to UI because everybody will say you it is just a box. :wacko: but not me.

For the form, if you can make some hard models it will be better. In my opinion not just sketching is enough for designing . :D


Have u ever get the device (your design) in your hand ? - That was the point which i was trying to show you.


Black is more better for me but just needs more details.



Show the back , battery cap, logo , if there is more than one layer how i will carry them.

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Guest ParkCrawler

Maybe I am geometrically-challenged, but I am just a tad confused. The corner was cut on the bottom left side of the phone, which in turn should allow greater access to, well, the left side of the phone. Not the right.


And also, I am in love with your minimalist phone! In fact, it is the reason as to why I signed up for PDF! It needs to be placed on the market immediately!

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Guest jmc

OK i was finally able to see the buttons in the off-stance by invreasing the luminosity of my screen, but it certainly needs more constrast to be very obvious.


In the red version, details are easier to see but the black edition was looking better... Black items are hard to render especially with details. Try putting an additional light source and set your material to dark gray instead of black, it might help.


But thanks for the clarifications, nice project.

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Guest Rollofunk

The concept of the buttons is interesting, with great potential in various fields, and worth exploring further. If it doesn't work exactly like this, then maybe there is some other way? No point in killing a good idea just because there isn't a technology ready to make it happen just this moment.


As for the product itself, I don't see much of the Nokia design DNA in it. Looks like a random device with a Nokia logo slapped on.

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Guest Jettenorio

I really like the button idea, it makes for a pretty varied device, although with other types of interaction you could accomplish the same thing.


love the renderings, obviously this is a labor of love. keep up the good work!


edit: I just had a thought- why don't you explore using your system to do raised buttons in braille?

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Guest elendil anarion

ok.. its a phone with the touch screen.... when its turned off... the screen doesnt have bumps (buttons)?


when you turn it on... lets say on phone mode or text meassage mode... does the phone control liquid? making buttons appear?..... am I right?... or maybe its the surface that reacts to some sort of electric shock... I dont know... I thing its awsome

thats a cool concept...


PS: Im gonna have to be very carefull with this phone... dont wanna sit on it :S :blush: :)

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