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Nokia's HumanForm concept oozes appeal

Tired of rectangular-shaped phones? Step into Nokia's Delorean for a taste of the future of smartphones.

Everything you know about smartphone design will change one day.

There seems to be a big brainstorm at the Nokia Research Center lately. It recently showed off the all-touch-screen Gem concept and a mind-bending flexible device interface.

One of its latest innovations is a radical new piece of concept hardware called HumanForm.

This fish-shaped concept is a departure from the rectangular devices we gawk over these days, and gives us an peek at a future where smartphone design has evolved beyond limitation. The soul of HumanForm contains part nanotechnology, a flexible display, and kinetic interaction.

Nokia bills the concept as "a visionary solution beyond touch screen and voice communication where technology becomes invisible and intuition takes over."

If HumanForm ever becomes real, users can bend the transparent display to navigate around the social-network-oriented interface. Aside from the entire phone being touch screen, it would also have support for gestures. Browsing images could occur simply by twisting the phone or bending it backward to zoom in.

HumanForm could also have an "electro tactile" enhanced display, which could, for example, give an image of rocks a bumpy feel. Be sure to check out some real-life images of a HumanForm mockup at Pocket-Lint.