Motorola's Adaptive Display looks like an interactive slap bracelet

Motorola Adaptive Display Concept 10 jpg.webp

At Mobile World Congress this week, Motorola took the wraps off its latest device, a concept called the Adaptive Display that looks like an interactive slap bracelet. Do you remember slap bracelets? If you didn’t grow up in the 90s then chances are you may have missed this craze. But they were all the rage among high school students and younger kids. And they came in a wide variety of styles to match everyone’s individual personalities. Motorola‘s Adaptive display concept is most certainly not a slap bracelet, and it’s arguably much cooler than one. But the general design of this bendable phone made it easy to stir up memories of that bygone era.

Quite simply because it’s the first thing that came to mind when I saw this thing. Of course, you don’t slap the Adaptive Display onto your wrist so it fastens shut. In fact it doesn’t completely enclose your wrist like a watch does. Instead, it bends into a U-shape that fits around your wrist like an open-ended bracelet. To ensure it doesn’t fall off, there’s a companion band that you do wear like a watch which has magnets to help secure the Adaptive Display in place. It’s a rather ingenious design that, while a little bit goofy looking, has some very real-world functionality.

The Adaptive Display concept offers tons of functionality

Aside from presenting as a smart bracelet with a touch screen, the Adaptive Display definitely has real-world uses. While on the wrist it could easily serve as your watch, just with much more information. And what’s neat is the display bends around both the top and underside of your wrist. So you could set things up to have the clock widget top side while other widgets for various things are wrapped around the bottom.

You don’t even need to wear this on the wrist at all times though. It can easily be detached from its magnetic wristband and placed on the desk. You can then bend just the bottom portion so it acts as a sort of kickstand for itself. Just in case you wanted it to act like an alarm clock or you wanted to watch videos on YouTube.

Motorola even baked in some fun features. For example, you can bend the Adaptive Display in half and bring up a game of Connect Four. Each person playing can then interact with their side of the game on their own side of the phone display. This is a super niche function. But I imagine it could be a really useful feature for parents and kids, or friends, who might be sitting around waiting at the airport or train station and want something to do. Or really sitting around anywhere that you might encounter a wait of some kind.

Motorola doesn’t currently have plans to launch this product, which is kind of a shame

This is just a concept after all, so this isn’t going to be something you can actually buy. Even if you would buy it. But, Motorola is doing nothing if not pushing the industry forward here with some really neat ideas. Flexible displays have been around for a few years now at this point. But this is a quirky device that’s on a whole other level from devices like Samsung’s Galaxy Fold series. And its features evoke the kind of fun aura that Motorola usually has.

For instance, Tech Radar notes that during their presentation with a Motorola rep, the rep wearing the Adaptive Display held their wrist up to a mannequin wearing a colorful outfit, and the generative AI cooked up a color scheme to match the outfit. That’s, not really something we’ve seen on any other devices. It’s the type of personalization that would easily draw in more fashion-conscious users. What’s more, is that this process of creation only took about 10 seconds. Alas, Motorola probably won’t ever launch this thing.

And that’s kind of a shame because niche or not, it’s cool. Even if a little strange. At the very least, the Adaptive Display is allowing Motorola to showcase what it can do. And that it has plenty of fresh ideas to bring to the market. It’s also just the kind of zany idea that’s expected of Motorola given other out there, yet admittedly very cool concepts from its parent company Lenovo, like this transparent display laptop.