A smartphone that doubles up as a normal smartphone on one side and sports an e-ink screen on its back. Interesting and very innovative. That’s the YotaPhone. Currently on display at CES 2013, the concept of the YotaPhone makes it one of the most interesting smartphones around. It was there from even before CES 2013 but this is the first time the YotaPhone has been on public display.
YotaPhone is a high-end Android 4.1 Jelly Bean smartphone with an e-ink display on the back. E-ink conserves more energy than color HD displays, so if its a reading task, the low-power e-ink side can be used, and when some higher definition tasks are being performed use the phone front screen to use LCD.
There are two ways to get content onto the back display. The first is to simply mirror what’s on the screen by swiping down with a two-fingered gesture. The second way to program YotaPhone’s e-ink display is to use apps built for that specific purpose. Yota starts out with a few, like an RSS reader, an alarm clock, and Twitter, but plans to open up the SDK so developers can create their own compatible software. Transferring data with these apps was seamless over a strong Wi-Fi connection, just by tapping an onscreen control.
Yota Device’s CEO, Vladislav Martynov, mentioned a few other uses as well. The YotaPhone can be used to keep notifications nearby so you don’t miss any news, customize with a photo, and it’s outdoor reading-ready.
An e-ink b-side isn’t the YotaPhone’s only interesting feature. It also adopts a Web OS-style gesture navigation, where half a swipe across the bottom takes you back, a full swipe takes you home, and a long press in the center brings up recent applications.
Gesture controls also inform navigation on the e-ink side of things. Swiping and tapping navigate around, but the 4.3-inch e-ink display (200dpi) isn’t touch-sensitive itself, which just makes navigation slow and clunky. Even though Corning just announced Gorilla Glass 3 days before CES, the YotaPhone prototype already has it.
All in all the YotaPhone is a unique smartphone that is on display at CES 2013, but other than that I donot see much into it except for the fact that it might open up another design segment for smartphones,