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Canada Hardware News Technology

Canadian Researchers Debut PaperTab, the Paper-Thin Tablet 142

redletterdave writes "The PaperTab, which looks and feels just like a sheet of paper, may one day overtake today's tablet. Developed by researchers at the Human Media Lab at Queen's University in Ontario, Canada, the PaperTab features a flexible, high-resolution 10.7-inch plastic touchscreen display built by Plastic Logic, the company borne from Cambridge University's Cavendish Laboratory, and relies on a second-generation Intel Core i5 processor to turn what looks like a sheet of white paper into a living, interactive display. Unlike typical tablets akin to Apple's iPad, the idea of PaperTab is to use one app at a time, per PaperTab. To make tasks easier, users would own 10 or more PaperTabs at once and lay them out to their liking; with multiple tablets to separate your applications, PaperTab relies on an interface that allows you to combine and merge elements from disparate applications with intuitive dragging, dropping, pointing, and folding."
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Canadian Researchers Debut PaperTab, the Paper-Thin Tablet

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  • by Osgeld ( 1900440 ) on Wednesday January 09, 2013 @11:31PM (#42542055)

    where do you put the battery, where do you put the wifi or cel hardware, where do you put the cpu that is currently sitting on the floor, why does my 800mhz rooted nook simple touch have a faster touch response than an i5?

  • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @12:00AM (#42542289) Journal
    They're thinking of the retail packaging all those chips come in. The actual chips are far thinner than paper. Copier paper, for example, is about 100 microns. Chips were 7 microns in 2006. I don't know how much thinner they can be today.
    Intel normally puts a CPU in a casing big enough to handle because there's no reason to make it thinner then paper, but that's just packaging. There's no reason flash memory or other clips couldn't be put in thinner packages. Remember microSD cards containing flash chips have been around since 2005. In 2006, Sandisk sold a 2GB microsd card barely thicker than the plastic packaging.
  • Concept (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @03:24AM (#42543331) Journal
    I prefer a different concept - one where humans are augmented and become superhuman rather than merely the environment becoming magical.

    For example, cameras+ wearable displays + brain-computer interfaces. Control by special gloves, eye-blink gestures, and/or thought-macros. Then the "screen" can be pretty big even though it is physically small and doesn't consume as much power as a huge display.

    Once you have that, you have virtual eidetic memory, virtual telepathy and telekinesis. Most of the tech is there or nearly there. One of the major problems might actually be Copyright Law - it conflicts with having eidetic memory especially if you want to share it with others. The **AA won't be happy with a penny for your thoughts, or their thoughts ;).

    Permanent video+audio recording at low/mid res, with high def/res in a ring buffer (past X minutes), so you can have the past X minutes in high def if you need it for whatever reason. Configurable image and audio recognition. Context awareness (time + location+ surroundings+ history) + super PDA features.

    Military edition might have gun muzzle detection, camouflage countermeasures, automatic "crack-thump" sniper location, UWB radar+comms, range gated vision (the latter two can give away your position to enemies that are suitably equipped[1]).

    [1] That said, electronic devices emit signals that can be detected if you have enough fancy stuff.
  • A4-sized displays (Score:4, Interesting)

    by flux ( 5274 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @03:41AM (#42543383) Homepage

    The display seems pretty large. Does this mean we are finally going to get proper devices for reading PDFs?

  • by docmordin ( 2654319 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @03:58AM (#42543449)

    Including a processor on the backside of the PaperTab wouldn't likely be a huge problem, as there are multiple research groups investigating ultralow-power, flexible, organic electronics, e.g.,

    G. H. Gelinck, et al., "Flexible active matrix displays and shift registers based on solution-processed organic transistors", Nature Mater., 3: 106, 2004
    K. Nomura, et al., "Room-temperature fabrication of transparent flexible thin-film transistors using amorphous oxide semiconductors", Nature, 432: 488-492, 2004
    B. Yoo, et al., "High-performance solution-deposited n-channel organic transistors and their complementary circuits", Adv. Mater., 19: 4028, 2007
    H. Klauk, et al., "Ultralow-power organic complementary circuits", Nature, 445: 745, 2007
    W. Xiong, et al., "A 3-V, 6-bit C-2C digital-to-analog converter using complementary organic thin-film transistors on glass", IEEE J. Solid State Circuits, 45: 1380-1388, 2010
    H. Marien, et al., "A fully integrated delta sigma ADC in organic thin-film transistor technology on flexible plastic foil", IEEE J. Solid State Circuits, 46: 276-284, 2011
    K. Myny, et al., "Unipolar organic transistor circuits made robust by dual-gate technology", IEEE J. Solid State Circuits, 46: 1223-1230, 2011
    K. Myny, et al., "An 8-bit, 40-instructions-per-second organic microprocessor on plastic foil", IEEE J. Solid State Circuits, 47: 284-291, 2012

    Beyond that, there are already flexible batteries on the market.

  • true ebook (Score:4, Interesting)

    by locofungus ( 179280 ) on Thursday January 10, 2013 @04:32AM (#42543569)

    Couple of hundred of these bound together in a hardback cover, maybe with a processor and memory in the spine, maybe just a connector.

    Kindle is great for fiction, which is linear, but less good for reference books where you often want to flip back and forwards etc.

    Now you can have the space advantages of ebooks with the UI advantages of a proper book.


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