One of the cool gadgets shown in the SyFy series Caprica was an interactive piece of paper that would send email, surf the web, and do just about anything else a computer can do. Then the character could fold it up and place it in their pocket or purse. Genius. Too bad we couldn’t do that now. Oh wait, WE CAN. Check out this smartphone made completely of paper and plastic.
“This is the future. Everything is going to look and feel like this within five years,” said Roel Vertegaal, director of Queen’s University Human Media Lab in Ontario, Canada.
Created by university researchers at the Queen’s University Human Media Lab in Ontario, Canada, the paper smartphone uses eInk and a printed circuitry embedded into a flexible display. Judging from the menus shown in the video below, it looks like it may use a version of Android as its OS with a conceptual overlay. The Paperphone employs a technique called “bend gestures” to navigate and select an action. The smartphone can make phone calls, play music, navigate through contacts, and even send text messages. And to enter data, users write on it like conventional paper with handwriting recognition to translate it into a digital entry.
But the most amazing thing about the Paperphone, is that it uses no power when it isn’t being used or interacted with. The display is made out of very thin film what looks to be an advanced version of the same eInk technology used by the Amazon Kindle, which is very stingy on power consumption. With it’s flexible design, the phone will conform to a user’s pocket and larger designs will be able to transform computers, tablets, and anything that processes documents. And users can stack them almost like real paper with no need for office printers. Could this be the beginning of a truly paperless office?