The Next Big Thing: The “Paper Phone”

This is just crazy. Pretty remarkable, but I can see about 50% of people accidentally washing these things in their jeans within the first month of ownership. The Daily Mail reports:

It can store books, play music, send text messages – and, of course, make phone calls.
Most impressively, the PaperPhone uses no power when nobody is interacting with it.

Inventor Roel Vertegaal, the director of Queen’s University Human Media Lab in Kingston, Ontario, said: ‘This is the future. Everything is going to look and feel like this within five years.

‘This computer looks, feels and operates like a small sheet of interactive paper, meaning that when users are reading they don’t feel like they are holding a sheet of glass or metal.

‘You interact with it by bending it into a cell phone, flipping the corner to turn pages, or writing on it with a pen.’

Its display consists of a 9.5cm 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,’ said Dr Vertegaal. ‘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.’

Dr Vertegaal will officially unveil his paper computer on Tuesday at the Association of Computing Machinery’s Computer Human Interaction 2011 conference in Vancouver.