The best thing ever invented, ever
A bunch of Canadian boffins have unveiled that they're calling ‘The world's first interactive paper computer' - essentially an entire computer built into an interactive screen, which they've christened the paperphone.
Shunning the traditional dignified understatement of academic announcements, Roel Vertegaal, the director of Queen's University Human Media Lab, said: "This is the future. Everything is going to look and feel like this within five years. This computer looks, feels and operates like a small sheet of interactive paper. You interact with it by bending it into a cell phone, flipping the corner to turn pages, or writing on it with a pen."
It's all quite Tomorrows World right now, and there have certainly been equivalent stories in the past, but one of the things that adds a bit more substance to this one is the amount of information released. There are the images and video below, and if you want to get properly geeky about it you can access the full academic paper as a PDF here.
But this also has the feel of a technological breakthrough that is already well on the way to being commercialised. The hyperbole used by Vertegaal is far more reminiscent of an advertisement than a sober academic announcement being published for peer review. And you'll notice that even the YouTube clip - which has over a million views - has already been commercialised.
"The paperless office is here," evangelised Vertegaal. "Everything can be stored digitally and you can place these computers on top of each other just like a stack of paper, or throw them around the desk."
The breakthrough will be formally presented at a conference tomorrow, at which point, we presume, the bidding from the likes of Apple and Samsung can commence, unless they funded the research and thus own it already. Either way, the beers are on Vertegaal.