Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Flexible e-ink screen set to make waves

A prototype of a flexible display using e-ink technology could revolutionise portable multimedia systems, says a researcher in Canada. Using a flexible display opens up new ways to interact, including flicking the screen to thumb through pages.
“This is the future. Everything is going to look and feel like this within five years,” says creator Roel Vertegaal, the director of Queen’s University Human Media Lab in Ontario. “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.”
The smartphone prototype, called PaperPhone is best described as a flexible iPhone – it does everything a smartphone does, like store books, play music or make phone calls. But its display consists of a 9.5 cm diagonal thin film flexible E Ink display. The flexible form of the display makes it much more portable that any current mobile computer: it will shape with your pocket.
Being able to store and interact with documents on larger versions of these light, flexible computers means offices will no longer require paper or printers.
“The paperless office is here. 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” says Dr. Vertegaal.
Dr. Vertegaal will unveil his paper computer on May 10 at the Association of Computing Machinery’s CHI 2011 (Computer Human Interaction) conference in Vancouver.

Portable Multimedia: See the video of the flexible e-ink screen

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