Wacky Portal concept aims to put a flexible smartphone on your wrist
Currently the subject of a crowdfunding campaign, Portal is a flexible wrist-mounted smartphone that takes wearable technology to new extremes. Rather than taking the under-the-radar approach we’ve seen with recent smartwatch releases, the new device simply slaps a full-sized smartphone on the wrist.
Wearable technology has been a mainstay of science fiction for decades, but the product category still struggles for acceptance in the real world. You might get some strange looks if you walk down the street wearing the latest smartwatch, but those devices are practically covert compared to the Portal.
The Portal doesn’t provide a small, connected window on your wrist like, say, the Moto 360 or Apple Watch, but instead slaps a large-screened smartphone on your forearm. The flexible handset can be used as a conventional, rubbery-looking smartphone, and can also be slotted into a wrist mountable, dual-strap housing. If the look of Samsung’s Gear S smartwatch was a little too out-there for your tastes, then you’re unlikely to love the Portal.
This isn't the first time we've seen a full-fledged smartphone on the wrist concept. The same idea cropped up in the the Rufus Cuff and Neptune Pine. But the sheer size of the Portal makes it just about the wackiest wearable we’ve seen to date.
The founders claim that it's water resistant up to 10 meters, both flexible and shatter-proof, and sports a custom Android UI designed specifically for wearable use. The team behind the product thinks it would be ideal for athletes, with the device acting as a sports tracker – recording heart rate, distance travelled, duration of session and more.
The wearable smartphone is very much a work in progress, with several key components (including the chip that would power the device) still in flux. If and when we see it, the final product will be constructed from flexible kevlar-reinforced polyurethane, packing 2 GB RAM and 64 GB internal storage. The company plans to ship it in variants with 4-in and 6-in screens.
The device is the subject of an Indiegogo crowd funding campaign scheduled to end on October 24. If the over-the-top wearable hits its lofty US$300,000 target (at the time of publication, it's 8 percent of the way there with 26 days to go), then the company aims to send out the first units in September of 2015. Early-bird prices start at $350.
For more on the Portal, you can check out the video below.