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CES: Plastic Logic shows off Papertab, a tablet as thin and flexible as paper

Touts a 10.7in plastic touchscreen display
Tue Jan 08 2013, 11:40

CES: A FLEXIBLE TABLET that is as thin as a piece of paper has been shown off at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) today, touting a fully interactive 10.7in plastic touchscreen display.

Developed by Plastic Logic, which has worked with Intel Labs and Queens University to develop the technology, the tablet is powered by a second generation Intel Core i5 processor and aims to replace the need for paper.

plastic logic flexible display

"Plastic Logic's flexible plastic displays are completely transformational in terms of product interaction," Plastic Logic's CEO, Indro Mukerjee said. "They allow a natural human interaction with electronic paper, being lighter, thinner and more robust compared with today's standard glass-based displays."

The interesting thing about the Papertab isn't just that it can bend and flex while in use like a magazine and is robust against drops, but it also doesn't work in the same conventional way as standard glass-based display technology on the market today. Instead of having several apps or windows on a single display, users have ten or more interactive displays or "paper tabs", one for every app in use.

For example, the Papertab's 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, a function that allows users to navigate through pages like a magazine, without needing to press a button.

A larger drawing or display surface can also be created by placing two or more Papertabs side by side. The flexible tablet then emulates the natural handling of multiple sheets of paper by combining thin-film display, thin-film input and computing technologies.

"Using several Papertabs makes it much easier to work with multiple documents," said the director of Queen's University's Human Media Lab, Roel Vertegaal.

The Papertab can file and display thousands of paper documents, replacing the need for a computer monitor and stacks of papers or printouts, keeping 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.

Plastic Logic believes its freshly developed flexible display will revolutionise the way people work with tablets and computers in the future.

"Within five to 10 years, most computers, from notebooks to tablets, will look and feel just like these sheets of printed colour paper," Vertegaal added.

Paper Logic maintained that other applications are currently being worked on together with partners so there will be more in store for us as it plans to showcase these in the coming months. µ


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