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This smart slap bracelet can turn into a phone (or a backscratcher, depending how you look at it)

The 40-year history of the prestigious Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute in South Korea has reached its culmination. Many more inventions will come out of its doors over the coming years, but nothing will be able to match the glory that is the back-scratching wristband phone revealed in its latest patent filing.

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The original idea that the government-funded engineering group had in mind for the bracelet is making it easier to view notifications. More conventional wearables like the Apple Watch show when someone is calling you or a new email has arrived in your inbox but still require you to dig up your phone from your pocket to take it, which its researchers deemed to be too much of a hassle.

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And thus the world’s most useful backscratcher was born. The bracelet is made up of a series of  bi-stable spring bands that can easily curve around your wrist with a quick motion and snap back into rigidity upon removal to let you hold up the screen to your ear like a phone. There’s also an intermediate state that allows the wristband to turn into a stylus for your other smart devices.

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The illustrations conspicuously resemble the smart slap bracelet LG is rumored to be developing, which surfaced on social networks last year and hasn’t made any other appearances since. Given that the electronics maker is also based in South Korea, the wristband may very well be a joint project, making it all the more likely the design will be brought to market.

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