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Tablet Computers as Thin as Paper

January 11, 2013
Intel, Plastic Logic and Queen’s University are working together to revolutionize tablet computing. The PaperTab tablet looks and feels just like a sheet of paper. However, it is fully interactive with a flexible, high-resolution 10.7" plastic display developed by Plastic Logic and powered by the second-generation Intel Core i5 processor. The design concept enables multiple PaperTabs to be used in conjunction. The PaperTab tablet was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

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.



“Using several PaperTabs makes it much easier to work with multiple documents,” says Roel Vertegaal, director of Queen’s University’s Human Media Lab. “Within five to 10 years, most computers, from ultra-notebooks to tablets, will look and feel just like these sheets of printed color paper.”

PaperTab units can file and display thousands of paper documents, replacing the need for a computer monitor and stacks of papers or printouts. Unlike traditional tablets, they keep track of their location relative to each other—and the user—providing a seamless experience across all apps, as if they were physical computer windows.

For example, when a PaperTab is placed outside of reaching distance it reverts to a thumbnail overview of a document, just like icons on a computer desktop. When picked up or touched a PaperTab switches back to a full screen page view, just like opening a window on a computer.

PaperTabs are lightweight and robust, so they can easily be tossed around on a desk while providing a magazine-like reading experience. By bending one side of the display, users can also navigate through pages without needing to press a button.

“Plastic Logic’s flexible plastic displays are completely transformational in terms of product interaction. They allow a natural human interaction with electronic paper, being lighter, thinner and more robust compared with today’s standard glass-based displays. This is just one example of the innovative revolutionary design approaches enabled by flexible displays.” explains Indro Mukerjee, CEO of Plastic Logic.

Source: Plastic Logic.

 

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