COOL LEAF could change the face of mobile devices

I don’t know about you, but what I see in these pictures is the future of mobile devices.

This is actually the COOL LEAF, a new series of input devices designed by Minebea, a Japanese company. As you can see, the surfaces of this keyboard, calculator, and remote control have a mirrored surface to them that is just as good as a real mirror.

You may notice that there isn’t “stand-out” buttons on this guy, but these “non-physical” buttons are just as good. It looks like the mirrored surface is water-resistant, too.

How can this work? It uses a special film made by a Japanese chemical company Toray on top, an electrostatic capacity type touch panel with force sensors beneath, and a backlight as a bottom layer.

I don’t know about you, but I would be very interested in seeing a future where the Φ-QWERTY, Φ-Calcs, and Φ-Remotes have completely taken over. Yes, that is what they are called, and I had to copy/paste those names from my source, as my computer did not have a “Φ” key. I would highly consider renaming these device before they are mass-marketed like Phi-QWERTY, Phi-Calculator, and Phi-remote.

I wonder what it would be like to have a Phi-Cellphone? Would it be a candybar, clamshell, or could you make a slider out of the thing? Hey, could we change the iPhone so it has the COOL LEAF’s mirrored surface?