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Expandable mobile display is on a roll

Telecom Italia and Polymer Vision have teamed up to develop what they say is the first mobile device with a rollable display.

Telecom Italia and Philips Electronics spinoff Polymer Vision have announced plans to develop what they say is the first mobile device with a rollable display. Yes, the gadget clearly rolls, but we'll have to wait 'til launch later this year to see if it rocks.

Polymer Vision

While smaller than a typical mobile phone, the new device, dubbed the Cellular-book, has a display that extends up to 5 inches and can be folded and stored away when not in use. It features 16 gray levels combined with a high-contrast and high-reflectivity display to enable comfortable paperlike reading of newspapers and books, even in bright sunlight. Early models will start at 4GB. Future additions, Polymer Vision says, will include the ability to view color and moving images.

The product, which also downloads and plays music, audio books and podcasts, will make its official debut at the 3GSM World Congress, which kicks off February 12 in Barcelona.

The Cellular-book follows Polymer Vision's Readius, a prototype of a functional electronic-document reader shown off at the Internationale Funkausstellung (IFA) 2005 consumer electronics show. E-paper has gained increasing attention for its flexibility, light weight and low power consumption.