Queen’s University, based at Ontario, Canada has come up with an innovative product called as an ‘interactive paper phone’ at their research centre Human Media Lab in collaboration with Arizona State University’s Motivational Environments research group. It is considered to be the ‘next big thing’ by Mr. Roel Vertegaal, the director of the Queen’s University Human Media lab at Ontario, Canada.
Now, you may just wonder what a paper can do other than helping you to write on it. But mind you, this interactive paper can do almost anything that your computer or your smart phone does. It is best described as ‘Interactive Paper Phone’ or ‘Flexible iPhone’.
Paper phone features
Yes, you heard it right. It is flexible because it can be rolled comfortably into your purse or your pocket. You can flip pages at the corner of the paper phone while browsing or reading an e-book. You can send messages or bend the paper (paper phone) to make or receive calls on it too.
You can play/pause your favorite music or just navigate the various apps on it. Well, you can write on the paper phone with a pen too. It may only not help you with taking pictures or you may not try different screen colors.
Paper phone saw its official launch in May this year at a conference on Human-Computer interaction (CHI) held at Vancouver. The gizmo is just a few millimeters thick and is made of flexible e-paper from E-Ink Company, the technology which was found already in Amazon’s Kindle e-book store. Paper phone contains flex sensors which help you with various triggers like bends or folds in certain ways.
The touch screen of paper phone interprets the text you write on the paper or the drawings you work on. The screen size is around 3.7 inches and the diagonal of the paper phone is about 9.5 centimeters. The 9.5cm display makes it a portable device adapting it to the size of your wallet/pocket. Paper phone looks like it uses a version of the Android OS making room for further new inventions.
The PDF version of the research paper gives many insights on the various user inputs which trigger the bending movements of the PaperPhone. Another important note is that it does not consume power when it is not in use. It is fully functional and is a working prototype of e-paper smartphones. This is evidently indicative of a future that may soon go paper-less and super light weight. Paper phones can also be piled up like a stack of paper you find at the desk of your workplace or you might throw it at your desk.
Paper phone – Your take?
Dr. Roel Vertegaal also had opined that the paper-less future is round the corner and maybe within five years, it may revolutionize the whole world with its interactive paper technology. Since the Paper Phone can store a lot of documents/information digitally, offices may turn paperless soon, no longer using papers or printers and in no time, we can find these devices almost everywhere.