Forget big-screen tablets, here’s paper tablet, foldable, easy to use

CES 2013 has a new innovative product unveiled on Tuesday by a group of researchers from Canada’s Queen’s University who have designed a flexible plastic paper computer.

Edwin Land of Polaroid had predicted the design over 40 years ago and the new device, which is bound to revolutionize the future trend in communication devices will make the television a prestine product from the past soon. In fact, HP was working on it but for military use to send building schematics to troops in the field, which would be worn as wrist band.

Known as the PaperTab tablet, it was the outcome of a joint research effort between the Human Media Lab at Queen’s University, Intel Labs and the United Kingdom technology firm Plastic Logic.

The 10.7-inch PaperTab is more like a sheet of paper with a high resolution touchscreen and is flexible. Unlike the available tablets which can only support feature one app at a time, the paper tablet will use several applications at a time and is designed to work with many other papertabs, even 10, at a time, all interactive and communicating with each other application.

“Using several PaperTabs makes it much easier to work with multiple documents,” Roel Vertegaal, director of the Queen’s University Human Media Lab, said in a statement. “Within five to 10 years, most computers, from ultra-notebooks, to tablets, will look and feel just like these sheets of printed colour paper.”

Since it is interactive with other opened applications, it is easy to transfer mails and photes from one to the other with just a tap. It can even be e-mailed concurrently. If two papertabs are placed side by side, a bigger visual can be seen using both as single screen.

“We are actively exploring disruptive user experiences,” Ryan Brotman, a research scientist at Intel said in a statement. “The ‘PaperTab’ project, developed by the Human Media Lab at Queen’s University and Plastic Logic, demonstrates innovative interactions powered by Intel Core processors that could potentially delight tablet users in the future.”

Plastic Logic and the Queen’s University Human Media Lab were also present at CES in Las Vegas on Tuesday.


First and foremost, it would help children say goodbye to heavy loads of books on their backs to school. They can just roll these tablets and walk to their schools. Perhaps, it will be about the size of one of those large pencils at the book shop that unrolls into an 8 1/2×11 sheet with the electronics at the base.

Secondly, it would shelve the television as a museum piece and retire bigwigs in the industry to grope for a viable alternative.

Thirdly, it would end the big-screen and heavy tablets mushrooming the market and replace them with easy-to-carry paper tablets.

Fourthly, it would make access to online possible anywhere and at anytime. No scope for youngsters to feel bored.

Fifthly, it would make human-to-human contacts less and less and navigate our future generations into a more mechanized touch-screen-savy robots.

Welcome, anyway to the future unveiled at CES rather too early.

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