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Revolutionary ‘paper’ tablet unveiled

London - A revolutionary new tablet screen is the thickness of a sheet of paper and can be twisted and dropped without damage.

Developed by Queen’s University in Canada, in collaboration with Plastic Logic and Intel Labs, it could lead to revolutionary new gadgets that are virtually unbreakable – and as thin as a piece of paper.

File photo: Developed by Queen's University in Canada, in collaboration with Plastic Logic and Intel Labs, it could lead to revolutionary new gadgets that are virtually unbreakable and as thin as a piece of paper. Credit: REUTERS

The firm behind the screen has shown off a radical new version of the office desk – with sheets of paper instead of screens.

It has also shown off a concept for a new desktop – using sheets of paper for each app rather than a traditional screen with windows.

It launched the screen this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Instead of using several apps or windows on a single display, users have 10 or more interactive displays or “PaperTabs”, with each being a different app. They can also be used as e-books, with users simply bending the screen to turn pages.

“Using several PaperTabs makes it much easier to work with multiple documents,” says Roel Vertegaal, director of Queen’s University’s Human Media Lab.

For example, PaperTab allows a user to send a photo simply by tapping one PaperTab showing a draft e-mail with another PaperTab showing the photo.

The photo is then automatically attached to the draft e-mail.

The e-mail is sent by placing the PaperTab in an out tray, or by bending the top corner of the display.

Similarly, a larger drawing or display surface is created simply by placing two or more PaperTabs side by side.

Intel claims the technology could eventually replace the traditional screen.

“Within five to 10 years, most computers, from ultra-notebooks to tablets, will look and feel just like these sheets of printed colour paper,” said Ryan Brotman, Research Scientist at Intel.

The developers claim it could even replace paper altogether.

“PaperTab can file and display thousands of paper documents, replacing the need for a computer monitor and stacks of papers or printouts,” they said.

“Unlike traditional tablets, PaperTabs keep track of their location relative to each other, and the user, providing a seamless experience across all apps, as if they were physical computer windows.

“For example, when a PaperTab is placed outside of reaching distance it reverts to a thumbnail overview of a document, just like icons on a computer desktop.

“When picked up or touched, a PaperTab switches back to a full-screen page view, just like opening a window on a computer.”

The prototype PaperTab unveiled at CES looks and feels just like a sheet of paper, the firm says.

However, it is fully interactive with a flexible, high-resolution 10.7-inch plastic display developed by Plastic Logic, a flexible touchscreen, and it is powered by the second-generation Intel Core i5 Processor.

“Plastic Logic’s flexible plastic displays are completely transformational in terms of product interaction,” said Indro Mukerjee, chief executive of Plastic Logic.

“They allow a natural human interaction with electronic paper, being lighter, thinner and more robust than today’s standard glass-based displays.

“This is just one example of the innovative revolutionary design approaches enabled by flexible displays.” – Daily Mail

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