"We were inspired by the design of ancient scrolls because their form allows for a more natural, uninterrupted experience of long visual timelines," said Roel Vertegaal, a professor at the Queen's University in Canada. The MagicScroll's scroll wheel allows for infinite scroll action for quick browsing through long lists.
"Unfolding the scroll is a tangible experience that gives a full-screen view of the selected item. Picture browsing through your Instagram timeline, messages or LinkedIn contacts this way," Vertegaal said.
Beyond the innovative flexible display, the prototype also features a camera that allows users to employ the rolled-up MagicScroll as a gesture-based control device — similar to that of Nintendo's 'Wiimote.'
The device's rotary wheels contain robotic actuators that allow the device to physically move or spin in place in various scenarios, like when it receives a notification for instance.
"Eventually, our hope is to design the device so that it can even roll into something as small as a pen that you could carry in your shirt pocket," said Vertegaal.