Are you having a hard time remembering your personalized ring tones? You insist on using them but you know that you will actually have to check the screen to know who’s calling. Well, this new invention may be helpful. Or make it worse. Either way, the shape-shifting phone will surely make a splash in the near future.

The MorePhone, as it is called, is still in its prototype stage and was developed by Queen’s University Human Media Lab. The phone uses shape-shifting capabilities to alert users of incoming calls and messages.

MorePhone: Shape-shifting Phone of the Future

The prototype is yet unrefined, but impressively slim and with a unique, flexible display. The screen is made of flexible plastic and its “morphing” capability is owed to the fact that it is connected to shape memory alloy wires. Based on electronic signals, the wires contract and bend and are then able to revert to the original shape of the device.

This technology would allow users to program their MorePhone to bend or curl in a specific way so as to give different notifications through different shape changes. This means that you could set the phone to curl its entire body or just bend a corner, to be able to distinguish between an incoming call and an email, for instance. The device could also be set to change its shape according to caller ID. And high priority messages could be signaled by the phone curling and uncurling its corners repeatedly.

One of the benefits of having such a shape-shifting phone would be that we will never miss any silent notifications anymore. Even in silent mode, a smartphone with this morphing technology will still be able to alert the user of any incoming messages, as long as it is in that person’s visual range or hand.

The current prototype is not yet strong enough to be able to bend in the user’s pocket, but researchers are already working on a way to solve this problem. The design will most likely be available to consumers in the next three to five years. The next step, according to the Queen’s University team, is to develop a fully-functional smartphone that will have the ability to change its shape three-dimensionally.

[Image via The Verge]