facebook rss twitter

Paperphone will obsolete the smartphone in five years, claims inventor

by Scott Bicheno on 9 May 2011, 11:12

Tags: General Business

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qa5tv

Add to My Vault: x

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.





HEXUS Forums :: 23 Comments

Login with Forum Account

Don't have an account? Register today!
Maybe its me but I don't see the point of it at the moment.
I'll just wait and keep an open mind since a lot of widely adopted technology are initially viewed with a level of scepticism. I think they still have a lot work to do though: the screen can't be the way it is, at the moment it looks like the person need to bend quite hard, and I think the typical touch screen is more efficient (it's main appeal at the moment is how thin it is, but I wonder how that'll change with internal storage/battery).

And I am still weary that it might be vaporware (that too many things that aren't a slight incremental improvement of what we already have end up to be).
Hmmm. Maybe. I'm up for convincing, but right now, for me, Jay nailed it.
Keep in mind as well that as far as they are concerned, it's not necessarily about what some of us thinks, but whether the general public will buy it. After a little more thought, based on the presented form in the video (not read the PDF yet), it seems more suitable to the e-book reader market than as a smartphone replacements.
I like it. I hate bulky phones.