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Canadian Researchers Debut PaperTab, the Paper-Thin Tablet

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the expensive-origami dept.

Canada 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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142 comments

Apple invented paper. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42541889)

Apple invented paper.

Re:Apple invented paper. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42541997)

Only paper with rounded corners.

Re:Apple invented paper. (1)

camperdave (969942) | about a year ago | (#42542815)

Maybe it could have the 45 degree bevelled corners of Battlestar Galactica fame. Then we could be sued by Universal instead.

Re:Apple invented paper. (1)

vlad30 (44644) | about a year ago | (#42543481)

No it will be Tribune entertainment and Gene Roddenberry estate for copying the flexies from Andromeda which strangely also had one function per sheet

Just make sure... (1)

mschaffer (97223) | about a year ago | (#42542925)

Just make sure that you are holding the paper correctly or it won't work!

Wallpaper? (2)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about a year ago | (#42543475)

Even better, this could lead to wallpaper actually stuck onto a wall. Except more useful as the number of pixels would finally be sufficient for most purposes.

Re:Apple invented paper. (2)

Cryacin (657549) | about a year ago | (#42542001)

Ahhhh. Papercut!

Re:Apple invented paper. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42542083)

I am glad this tablet is paper thin. The average American's lard ass isn't.

Average Americans: fat, stupid, intellectually lazy about using what intelligence they do possess, childish, entitled, petty, with about a six-second attention span.

This once-great nation is going downhill FAST. These are the conditions that breed dictators. Of course that you are offended by what I said bothers you more than the potential of becoming the Fourth Reich. After all, you can't see past the next few minutes, can you?

Re:Apple invented paper. (2)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year ago | (#42542109)

What?

Re:Apple invented jigaboos (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42542551)

What?

What a stupid question. The question is so fucking dumb that I have to ask: are you a NIGGER?!

Re:Apple invented paper. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42542143)

Completely correct. What we need is a solution. Do you have one? I do. A Final Solution.

Grammar? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42541923)

Good to see our editors proof read: "may one today overtake today's tablet."

Hopefully they go wireless... (1)

DaemonDan (2773445) | about a year ago | (#42541957)

Because it would suck to have that many wires connecting all the PaperTabs together. And while it's flexibility makes it less likely to break when dropped, isn't there a risk of it being torn, or mistaken for regular paper and thrown away or shredded?

Re:Hopefully they go wireless... (4, Interesting)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#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?

Re:Hopefully they go wireless... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42542219)

Wireless power? Wireless transmission? :p

Re:Hopefully they go wireless... (3, Interesting)

docmordin (2654319) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:Hopefully they go wireless... (2)

ProzacPatient (915544) | about a year ago | (#42542227)

Mind you what they're showing obviously appears to be a prototype; a proof-of-concept.
I imagine that if this thing were to hit production that it would definitely improve; thinner consolidated cables (if any), faster refresh rate, etc..

It might not exactly be bleeding edge but it's very promising!

Concept (3, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | about a year ago | (#42543331)

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.

Re:Hopefully they go wireless... (4, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#42543237)

The wires are what lets them do it.

Basically each 'tablet' is just a display, with all other hardware removed. The wires are connected to an actual CPU, which does all the processing, etc.

In other words, these guys bought a display and wired it up. Woohoo.

Re:Hopefully they go wireless... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42543817)

And while it's flexibility

"its".

Video (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42541975)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81iiGWdsJgg&feature=player_embedded

Re:Video (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42543131)

This looks like the retarded desktop analogy, gone waaaayyyy too far. That analogy is *not* a good thing. A computer is *way* more powerful than that analogy. The analogy is crippling its power!

Epaper and OLED has always been flexible (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#42542007)

since the day they were born in the lab, but there is more to a computer than its display, wheres the flexible and paper thin battery, the flexible core i5, the flexible ram rom and flash?

Re:Epaper and OLED has always been flexible (3, Insightful)

nospam007 (722110) | about a year ago | (#42542353)

"since the day they were born in the lab, but there is more to a computer than its display, wheres the flexible and paper thin battery, the flexible core i5, the flexible ram rom and flash?"

They are in the basement computer, doing all the work and sending the result to the screen, like ...how would you call it... a thin client. :-)

Re:Epaper and OLED has always been flexible (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#42542501)

yep, and the last time I checked paper wasn't tethered to the floor

Re:Epaper and OLED has always been flexible (3, Insightful)

tooyoung (853621) | about a year ago | (#42543041)

wheres the flexible and paper thin battery, the flexible core i5, the flexible ram rom and flash?

They are in the basement computer, doing all the work and sending the result to the screen, like ...how would you call it... a thin client. :-)

Oh, cool! So the thin client doesn't even need a battery?

Re:Epaper and OLED has always been flexible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42543499)

Not really no. You can use a coil and transmit the energy through the air. Another way of doing it is to use one of those flexible photovoltaic cells.

Display, not tablet (4, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about a year ago | (#42542119)

We've had nice paper thin displays for years now. But a thin display doesn't mean a thin tablet. Until we have thin CPUs and thin RAM sticks, and thin flash memory and thin connectors, we aren't going to have a paper thin tablet.

When you get all the components you need for a tablet you end up with something just as thick as what we've got on shelves today. By no means thick, but not paper-thin.

Re:Display, not tablet (3, Insightful)

rossdee (243626) | about a year ago | (#42542215)

What about a paper thin battery. (Thats going to last more than a few minutes)

Re:Display, not tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42543171)

Well, we had polymer capacitor batteries for years now, that are basically a two-layer sheet of plastic foil that you can bend, cut to size (yes, seriously), attach contacts and charge. Since it's a capacitor, it charges in seconds. The only problem left was that like all capacitors, it lost its charge too quickly. But we're currently pretty close to fixing that.

Re:Display, not tablet (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about a year ago | (#42543709)

Surely there's an application for piezo electronics in there somewhere? If you use a truly low-power display tech (e-ink, presumably), couldn't you harvest a bit of kinetic energy out of the flexing of the "paper" and use that to keep the capacitor topped up?

Re:Display, not tablet (1)

samkass (174571) | about a year ago | (#42542239)

We've had nice paper thin displays for years now. But a thin display doesn't mean a thin tablet. Until we have thin CPUs and thin RAM sticks, and thin flash memory and thin connectors, we aren't going to have a paper thin tablet.

When you get all the components you need for a tablet you end up with something just as thick as what we've got on shelves today. By no means thick, but not paper-thin.

Yup. If you've ever looked inside an iPad you know it's basically a huge battery with a couple of circuits and display tacked on.

Re:Display, not tablet (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#42542531)

and none of it is flexible as an assembled product

even if you took the ipad guts out of its case, and laminated it in plastic, it isn't going to move much

Chips are WAY thinner then paper (2, Interesting)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#42542289)

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.

Re:Chips are WAY thinner then paper (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#42542537)

there are reasons, heat dissipation being one, and not having to wire bond each chip to a PCB is another, which is kind of a bitch

Re:Chips are WAY thinner then paper (5, Insightful)

SecurityTheatre (2427858) | about a year ago | (#42542547)

The thickness of the wafers onto which chips are etched is NOT 7 microns. The standard wafer thickness is about 775um, or just about 1mm. That doesn't count the substrate onto which the electrical connections must be soldered.

It's also extremely fragile at this thickness, and a big portion of placing it onto a ceramic or organic plastic substrate is so that it doesn't crack.

With a plain wafer, you can crack it by gently rapping it with your knuckle, or dropping it gently on a hard surface.

Thickness may not be the issue, but durability is. So is heat dissipation. A modern chip is designed to dissipate heat rapidly, among other things. There are all sort of problems beyond flexibility that plague this particular engineering problem.

Re:Chips are WAY thinner then paper (1)

jtcampbell (199660) | about a year ago | (#42543745)

It's possible to thin wafers right down from the backside after initial manufacture. This is already done for the ICs used in smartcards - apparently the processed wafers are surprisingly flexible.

Re:Chips are WAY thinner then paper (2)

mirix (1649853) | about a year ago | (#42542897)

When they say an IC is developed with a 7um process, that's the resolution of the lithography process. the smallest feature they can make. The die itself is much thicker.

7 micron is huge, 70's tech. in 2005 they were already down to at least 90nm, maybe smaller. (0.09 um).

Re:Display, not tablet (1)

m00sh (2538182) | about a year ago | (#42542787)

We've had nice paper thin displays for years now. But a thin display doesn't mean a thin tablet. Until we have thin CPUs and thin RAM sticks, and thin flash memory and thin connectors, we aren't going to have a paper thin tablet.

All that can be squeezed into a quarter sized "paper-clip" or a stiff spline.

When you get all the components you need for a tablet you end up with something just as thick as what we've got on shelves today. By no means thick, but not paper-thin.

And that is why the whole video is about the UI aspect of using paper thin tablets and not about the technology of paper thinness.

The topic should probably have been called new UI for using multiple tablets on a desk. Plus, new bending gestures when the display is thin.

Re:Display, not tablet (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about a year ago | (#42543081)

How is this insightful?

A trivial way of setting it up is having the papertabs being dumb displays, why, sort of exactly how they have them right now. They're just eink so require very little power, easy to setup with wireless power transmission. Some genius will figure out how exactly to send binary encoded data for the display that will combine the receiving of the data with the powering of the unit, each data pulse more energy. Have a hub that communicates to all the displays, keeps track of them, etc...

The base and, lets say, 5-10 papertabs could come in a carrying unit the same size as a regular tablet, but you could pull out individual tabs and use them within a certain distance of the base.

Come on guys, it's not rocket science.

Re:Display, not tablet (1)

quantaman (517394) | about a year ago | (#42543419)

We've had nice paper thin displays for years now. But a thin display doesn't mean a thin tablet. Until we have thin CPUs and thin RAM sticks, and thin flash memory and thin connectors, we aren't going to have a paper thin tablet.

When you get all the components you need for a tablet you end up with something just as thick as what we've got on shelves today. By no means thick, but not paper-thin.

Yes and no.

You're still going to need something big and bulky to house all the non-display bits, but they don't need to be with the screen.

Assuming the tech is up to it you could make something like a projector screen, walk around with your tablet contained in a tube, then when you want to use it unroll the screen and start away. Might actually work better as a phone, instead of choosing between a tiny innocuous talk-only phone, and a big ungainly smart phone, you could have the best of both worlds, a little tube to carry around that can unravel into a big smartphone screen.

Re:Display, not tablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42543635)

We've had nice paper thin displays for years now. But a thin display doesn't mean a thin tablet.

This. What's more, a paper-thin plastic display does NOT "look like a sheet of white paper."

This thing looks like a step in the right direction, but what I want is something that actually resembles a pad of paper - in appearance, color, reflectivity, texture, and friction coefficient, and displays content in black-on-white. Not something that looks like a page protector and displays things in dark-gray-on-light-gray.

Re:Display, not tablet (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | about a year ago | (#42543837)

There's absolutely no reason why a paper thin tablet needs to have RAM, CPU, battery and peripheral connectors. All it needs is one connector, for a cable that attaches to an external computer. Make that computer as big as an MP3 player or at most a phone, and you're set: you can keep the computer in your pocket, and have the screen (only) be the tablet.

People already keep their music players in a pocket, and put up with cables that end in earplugs. Same principle.

Re:Display, not tablet (1)

Solandri (704621) | about a year ago | (#42544221)

If you open up a modern tablet, most of the electronics are crammed into a sliver of PCB. Most of the remaining space is taken up by the battery. Presumably if the battery requirements can be reduced (or battery tech improves), you could put the electronics and battery into a thin bar along one edge of the screen.

My prediction is we're going to have "scroll" tablets - the electronics and battery will be housed in a cylindrical tube, and the screen is rolled around it for storage. When you want to use it, simply unroll the screen. This can also give you multiple screen sizes in one. e.g. If the tube is 6" long, you can unroll 3.5" of the screen to get something about the size of a modern 7" tablet. Unroll it 10" to get something equivalent to a 11.6" tablet. And unroll it 14" for a 2.35:1 widescreen display for viewing movies in completely native format.

The actual link (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42542139)

Since the douchetard du jour forgot to, I guess it's up to old Anonymous Cowherd to link to the actual website (rather than the warmed-over blogruel we were served):

http://www.humanmedialab.org/papertab [humanmedialab.org]

You can thank me by clicking 'reply' and composing a note of thanks.

Re: The actual link (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42542367)

Uh, thanks, I guess.

The IBT is hardly your average, run-of-the-mill blog, but is a well-established online business news outlet. In fact, TFA happens to post a link to the company in the FIRST line.

I'd rather read an established media article on a new product, which contains a link to the company/product in question. At least that way, there is a fighting chance of reading something other than a company's advertisement.

BTW if there was ever a piece of prose that deserved to be credited to a "douchetard du jour" it is certainly yours.

Thanks?

Re: The actual link (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42542519)

I think by 'thanks' you mean 'fuck off'. Just FYI, using kind words when you clearly mean the opposite makes you sound like an asshole.

And not for nothing, but summaries with a single link to a blog (sorry, 'online business news outlet') are needlessly aggravating and just mean more work for people that want more of the story, like, say, reading what the inventors have to say and what they have published, or seeing video of it in action. The submitter was a lazy douchetard.

Re: The actual link (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42542853)

I think by "the submitter was a lazy douchetard" you mean that you were too lazy to read a single line in TFA which provided a link to the company's advertisement about their product, rather than reading an analysis in the 11th highest rated business news outlet (by alexa).

You are the lazy douchetard.

Re: The actual link (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42544129)

They took a bunch of these: http://www.plasticlogic.com/technology/
And hooked it up to some of these: http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/processors/core/core-i5-processor.html
And then used this type of idea: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gesture_recognition
To make a video of people doing stuff that you'd expect people to do IF we actually HAD an entire tablet which was self-contained and paper-thin and flexible. Which we don't.

This is taken directly from their site.

"For example, PaperTab’s intuitive interface allows a user to send a photo simply by tapping one PaperTab showing a draft email with another PaperTab showing the photo. The photo is then automatically attached to the draft email. The email is sent either 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. PaperTab thus emulates the natural handling of multiple sheets of paper by combining thin-film display, thin-film input and computing technologies through intuitive interaction design."

Meh. At least this will prevent Apple from claiming they invented the idea of merging two displays together.

This is it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42542199)

I think we've hit the highest point we can get in terms of slimness.

Would this be considered a singularity in tablets? Or am I a bit off?

Are they serious? (0)

paxprobellum (2521464) | about a year ago | (#42542233)

Did you watch the video? So ridiculously un-useful. Can't see this catching on.

Re:Are they serious? (1)

Lucky75 (1265142) | about a year ago | (#42542331)

It's a proof of concept...

Re:Are they serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42542467)

Ok, then they succeeded. They proved the concept is terrible.

Re:Are they serious? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#42543271)

it's eink displays on wires - thick wires - and ripping off bending ui page switching from other guys.
while the concept they're "inventing" has been invented before(multiple displays you can use in unison, move around, bump into each other to move data..). the real problem is transfer of power to these sheets. and of course that them being flexible adds little to none value to them. even papers being flexible adds little value to paper in data show/manipulation role - that's why we had clipboards to clip them on!

as such a concept mentioning even the i5 cpu is utterly pointless, only thing that serves is to fool people into thinking there's actual compute capability in these eink displays.

Re:Are they serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42542775)

Did you watch the video? So ridiculously un-useful. Can't see this catching on.

This is more of a concept than anywhere near a final product. so please don't poo-poo it.
Bill gates said he could never see why any computer would ever conceivably need more than 16kb of ram too. it's best to let technology evolve

Re:Are they serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42543311)

Okay, well they should evolve it and get back to us when they actually have something that's worth looking at.

I don't think anyone is really concerned with how they are going to use paper-thin tablets until they are close to, you know, actually having paper-thin tablets.

Does this get any dumber? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42542299)

So we finally - after a few hundred years - manage to get rid of the majority of pieces of paper cluttering our desktops...

And now we get to bring them all back? Except they're thicker, and you can't let them touch each other or they do stuff you may not want? And they're all connected with wires? And we don't get color any more? And they will be as comparatively expensive as parchment was, a few hundred years ago?

So... none of the advantages of paper, and all the usual disadvantages of tech just for the sake of tech?

Hmmm... I read TFA; but I forgot to check the source. It wasn't The Onion by any chance, was it?

Mmmph. Capcha: "aborted"

Re:Does this get any dumber? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42542363)

At first blush it seems like they're inveting a set of problems to solve rather than address the most basic task: accessing, editing, and closing text files.

Displaying the files is relatively trivial, but how will we intuitively choose and load the files we want, when there are millions to sort through?

Will we have to type in the name or keywords of the file we want using a (probably crappy and RSI inducing) on screen keyboard,? Or is there some way we can get most of the way there using, say, hierarchies along with simple up/down yes/no input by bending the display?

The proximity detection / alignment with the drawing was neat, though. Might be useful.

Re:Does this get any dumber? (2)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#42542555)

do you prefer to dig though a mile long start menu or do you like clicking that little search box on windows and type in device ma enter?

they are offering the mile long start menu, where is that document I wanted, oh its over here, now lets open it, move it, embed it, put it away and send an email

systems we have now, let the computer find it, attach, done.

Re:Does this get any dumber? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42542751)

Who needs multiple displays? One 1920x1080 screen should be enough for anyone.

Re:Does this get any dumber? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42543327)

And now we get to bring them all back? Except they're thicker, and you can't let them touch each other or they do stuff you may not want? And they're all connected with wires? And we don't get color any more? And they will be as comparatively expensive as parchment was, a few hundred years ago?

You need to think a little beyond what you saw , because what you saw was obviously work in progress. I would expect that further research will lead to smaller packaging, NFC wireless, linked to the desk by a router or concentrator of some sort, color, smaller batteries, etc etc etc...

All those improvements to make it actually useful will come later.

Stupid (1)

llZENll (545605) | about a year ago | (#42542447)

The youtube video is worthless, they show off lame functionality that is entirely possible with any current normal tablet, such as extended desktops, tapping to move documents, and location aware features. The only papertab feature is bending the paper to navigate pages, which is error prone, gimmicky, and not worth much. Show me the technology in the papertab on why it is so thin and flexible.

Re:Stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42542987)

I'm guessing the functinality they're aiming for is "having money after buying several tablets".

Enough with the Autoplay (1)

dmomo (256005) | about a year ago | (#42542449)

I left the site immediately once that video started to auto play. This has to stop.

Re:Enough with the Autoplay (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42542643)

I left the site immediately once that video started to auto play. This has to stop.

You are not just a pussy. You are also a douchebag.

You may not realize that. You may believe it is easier to think I am just trolling you because I chose you at random among all the posts, and that I have no intention better than trying to get your goat. Comfort yourself with such an illusion (delusion) if you please. What follows is the fuckin' truth.

Take control of your own god-damned experience, like a halfway intelligent person, with NoScript or something similarly able to give you a choice about whether you feel like seeing a given video. The web is NOT TV. It is not totally passive unless you choose to be. You can actually choose what you will see or not see. Figure that out and you will have much less to whine about.

Whether you use a browser that accepts NoScript ir not is not my concern nor my point. The point is there are ways of doing things, this medium is not television, you actually can do something about any part of it you don't like, you can take control, the option is available, if you do the slightest research for a few minutes you will find the way. Stop being such a passive sheep.

disapointed (1)

pbjones (315127) | about a year ago | (#42542731)

they had me hooked, until I saw the cables. They could have used Wireless and a smaller power cable, but it's just another tech demo of never to be seen stuff.

Re:disapointed (1)

msobkow (48369) | about a year ago | (#42542797)

I suspect that thick bar across the bottom where the wires plug in is also where they've hidden the non-bendable chips for the device. I noticed that the bottom of the sheet didn't bend when they were flipping through the PDF example.

So this technology is definitely not ready for delivery.

It also strikes me as incredibly gimmicky. Picking up and shuffling paper is far from intuitive, and I don't want to cover my desk with a bunch of sheets. In the area consumed by my monitor and keyboard, I could fit maybe 4 of those sheets if they were all side by side.

Worst of all is the dependence on a soft screen keyboard. This would have been far more impressive technology if it would have allowed the user to scribble cursive writing anywhere on the surface and have it automatically converted to text.

Patents (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42542767)

I cannot wait, in 10 years we will get to see apple say they invented this and the patent office will happily give them a patent for it.

Do not want... (3, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#42542801)

Sure, it's cool that it's paper thin... but a) it's black and white, not color; and b) the refresh rate, if the video is any indication, seems abysmal for anything but static displays.

Can somebody please tell me what possible advantage this has over an e-ink reader?

Re:Do not want... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42543253)

This was a proof of concept demonstration R&D let's see what can be done type of thing, not a full blown robust production design.

Capcha: permit

Re:Do not want... (4, Insightful)

mumblestheclown (569987) | about a year ago | (#42543431)

What POSSIBLE advantage might the eventual production outcomes of this R&D prototype have? If you can't see that you are suffering from a severe lack of imagination.

Re:Do not want... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42543533)

Can somebody please tell me what possible advantage this has over an e-ink reader?

Weight, size, and potentially cost.

The base could be the table. The table could emit a magnetic field for power and allow for wireless transfer of data. These pieces of "digital paper" would then not require a battery nor would they require any processing power. They could be made thin and cheap even with today's technology. Assuming the display is as good as an e-ink display, it would allow for a pretty cool workstation. Combine it with a traditional computer + display and you could "drag" your PDF files from your computer onto a piece of digital paper for reading.

How is this better (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42542817)

Pretty neat, but I can't for the life of me see how this would be "better" in any way than either a normal tablet or a desktop computer. The gesture controls they showed - bending the side or corner - are hardly intuitive, and why would I want a mess of those laying all over my desk? How is tapping my email to an "outbox" easier than clicking send? I think they are on the wrong track with how they envision using the technology.

Assuming they could make them entirely self contained and cheap enough to be semi-disposable, they would make a great replacement for paper.

Re:How is this better (1)

Half-pint HAL (718102) | about a year ago | (#42544125)

I find that my computer navigation "shortcircuits" when I get tired, in a way that's kind of analogous to focal dystonia [wikipedia.org] , but in a purely mental way, not a muscular problem. I know what task I want to achieve, and I move my mouse, but I click on the wrong icon genuinely believing it'll do what I want. Example: I'm playing Minesweeper, I've identified that there's a mine on a square and I go to flag it, but I press the wrong button. Computer commands are very abstract, and are very minimally different. A physical interface paradigm takes advantage of muscle memory to give us more context for, and consciousness of, or actions.

If you look at the history of windowed UIs, the whole point was to make something as close to physical as possible -- they used to talk about "direct manipulation" lots. That's why it was all drag-and-drop in the early days, but as always, they discovered that abstract is quicker, but modern windowed UIs are abstract without much linguistic content.

Which is just a fancy way of saying that real geeks use CLI.

Great... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#42542859)

> 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,

Wonderful. Windows 8, except in a bunch of separate devices.

I don't get it (1)

AlphaBro (2809233) | about a year ago | (#42543049)

If this is some sort of eink display as it appears to be, it is going to be useless for anything but reading, and personally I don't want my reader bending and contorting like a flimsy piece of paper. But hey, at least I could lay a bunch of these things out to view large monochrome images or something.

Can I fold it up and stuff it in my pocket? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42543095)

Might be somewhat useful if so. On second thought...looks more like a solution in search of a problem. Or like my first wife, cute but useless.

would you like a mint? (1)

milkmage (795746) | about a year ago | (#42543223)

Maitre D: And finally, monsieur, a paper-thin mint.
Mr Creosote: No.
Maitre D: Oh sir! It's only a tiny little thin one.
Mr Creosote: No. Fuck off - I'm full...
Maitre D: Oh sir... it's only paper thin.

Inconvenient? (1)

RobbieCrash (834439) | about a year ago | (#42543359)

This seems significantly more inconvenient than tapping icons or photos on a tablet. The extendable display is neat, but I can already do that with my Nexus 7 and my computer with any one of a handfull of apps.

A4-sized displays (3, Interesting)

flux (5274) | about a year ago | (#42543383)

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

This is a great idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42543439)

Finnaly some thing useful for school.
We now can replace the ancient "Kick me in the ass" with plastic tablets that are paper thin.

Intel please stick to making processors which will be useless soon.
Cisc is dead FINNALY. Long live Risc.

true ebook (3, Interesting)

locofungus (179280) | about a year ago | (#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.

Tim.

Re:true ebook (2)

RivenAleem (1590553) | about a year ago | (#42544235)

You could make a really good Guide Book like that. With pages dedicated to certain locations. You could then emboss on the cover some kind of comforting passage for whenever you get lost or into something you can't handle, "Don't Panic" comes to mind.

Obvious target: a desktop computer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42543855)

The computer is built into the desk or sits under it, powering the desktop The desktop, the surface of the desk, is a combination of data transfer and inductive charger. You are working with a limited number of "papers" on this desktop. You can arrange them, scribble on them, "cut&paste". They contain just the display and enough flexible electronic to receive the necessary energy and data.

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