Researchers create a paper-thin computer
It's a long way from hitting store shelves, but the new Papertab tablet debuting at CES shows where the technology is headed.
One company, Plastic Logic, is demonstrating an early prototype of just that this week at the Consumer Electronics Show. The company's Papertab tablet has a long way to go, but you can see what researchers envision and what that might mean for the next generation of computer users.
The Papertab looks like a thick sheet of paper, but it has a plastic display with a touchscreen. It connects to a high-end processor from Intel (INTC). The Papertabs seem to work best when there are more than one around. A user can be writing an email on one, for example, and then tap another one that contains a photo to add that photo to the message.
"Within five to 10 years, most computers, from ultra-notebooks to tablets, will look and feel just like these sheets of printed color paper," Roel Vertegaal, director of the Human Media Lab at Queen's University, said in a statement. Plastic Logic worked with the university and with Intel to develop the Papertab.
Those paper-thin computers will probably be fairly inexpensive, too, to the point where companies and consumers could have several around that interact with each other. Each Papertab can hold thousands of documents, which researchers say replaces the need for a computer monitor and files of paperwork.
Time Magazine's Jared Newman, who saw a demonstration at CES, wrote that he could see a person throwing a bunch of Papertab sheets in a backpack like a magazine without worrying about damaging them. "I could imagine sending an article to a sheet, then doing some old-school editing with a stylus," he added.
You can't buy anything like this now, and Newman reports that Plastic Logic wants to license the technology to other companies. So perhaps Microsoft (MSFT) or Google (GOOG) might be interested in incorporating the idea into future products. (Microsoft owns and publishes moneyNOW, an MSN Money site.)
"The point of the prototypes is to prove that the technology exists, and to encourage the industry to work on components that can fit within an ultra-thin, flexible display," Newman writes.
More on Money Now
- Al Gore now richer than Mitt Romney
- Priciest ever Super Bowl ads sell out
- Apple working on a cheaper iPhone
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
[BRIEFING.COM] Stocks continue trading near their recent levels, with the Nasdaq (+0.4%) maintaining its lead.
Earlier, we mentioned that the financial sector may hold the key to the afternoon performance among the major averages, and that is holding true thus far. The S&P 500's retreat from mid-session highs has been accompanied by weakness in the financial sector, which now trades lower by 0.2%.
The growth-sensitive group holds a modest loss as most large components hover ... More
More Market News
Delivering packages will give the company, stung by shipping delays last Christmas, more control over the shopping experience.
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'