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Engineering Materials
Flexible Tablet Prototype Is Electronic Paper
1/22/2013

The PaperTab flexible tablet PC splits a tablet's windows into separate sheets of user-editable electronic paper that store a lot of data and communicate with one another. (Source: Human Media Lab, Queen's University)
The PaperTab flexible tablet PC splits a tablet's windows into separate sheets of user-editable electronic paper that store a lot of data and communicate with one another.
(Source: Human Media Lab, Queen's University)

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Flexible Tablet Prototype
Ann R. Thryft   1/22/2013 4:20:41 PM
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Al, the possible lack of connector strength is a really good point. We've seen several issues before with lack of connector strength. I would guess that the issues described in this article on mobile medical connectors would be equally applicable here:
http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=255424

mrdon
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Re: Wireless?
mrdon   1/22/2013 6:26:32 PM
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tekochip, I agree. Paper Tab is a practical device but the tethered cables need to be replaced with a wireless interface.

Charles Murray
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Re: I think I'm going to need a bigger desk
Charles Murray   1/22/2013 8:18:55 PM
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I agree, Elizabeth. It seems complicated. I'm sure there are advantages to this set-up, but I'm not sure I understand what they are.

Jennifer Campbell
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Re: I think I'm going to need a bigger desk
Jennifer Campbell   1/22/2013 8:59:44 PM
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Ann, forgive me if I missed this in the article, but if this went into production and I wanted to buy one, would I be able to choose how many PaperTabs I wanted or is there a set amount? Does it come with a certain number and then you can add to it? Or, am getting ahead of myself here?

This devices seems like a bit of a stretch, considering toggling screens in a regular tablet (iPad, etc.) is fairly simple. Isn't the point of a tablet the portability factor? Am I missing something?

Elizabeth M
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Re: I think I'm going to need a bigger desk
Elizabeth M   1/23/2013 6:58:35 AM
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Happy to see I'm not the only one confused by the value of this technology...again, it's probably why it's a prototype! Maybe feedback will convince the company to change the design a bit or come up with more of a value proposition. I think it was certainly worthwhile for Ann to cover, though, as it has us all scratching our heads over it! And it shows people thinking of new ways to extend the function of tablets, which are quickly becoming ubiquitous.

tmash
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Hmmm
tmash   1/23/2013 9:54:55 AM
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Very interesting breakthrough there...however tho nothing new with the underlying technologies its an extension of what has been there in the last four years ..

The market for this is limited to environments for learning and work or the traditional shopping nfc applications....beyond that??...its called innovation.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: I think I'm going to need a bigger desk
Ann R. Thryft   1/23/2013 11:38:07 AM
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It's not really all that complicated: what may be confusing is that it mixes the physical handling of sheets of "paper" with the same old functions of electronics.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: I think I'm going to need a bigger desk
Ann R. Thryft   1/23/2013 11:38:58 AM
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The advantages are being able to lay out documents on a table, as we can do when they're made of paper, instead of having to look at everything sequentially on one screen. I have often wished to be able to do this, especially with long technical documents. Anyone who writes or does hands-on editing of such documents--words or drawings--could appreciate this, as could an R&D team that collaborates on same.

SparkyWatt
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Re: I think I'm going to need a bigger desk
SparkyWatt   1/23/2013 1:39:23 PM
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In other words.  The advantage of this system is about the same as having a tablet screen that is 3 feet by 4 feet (roughly the size of a desktop).  Honestly, I think I would prefer the latter.  Especially if I could roll it up and take it with me.

DBrunermer
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The Desk is significant?
DBrunermer   1/23/2013 2:05:48 PM
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I agree it looks interesting, but I disagree on the company's definition of 'Intuitive'. Bending a page backward to flip pages is not really obvious, nor is folding / dog-earing for fast forward and reverse on video. But I digress.

The movie makes it seem like the desk is an important part of this invention. As in, it's the desk that knows where the pages are in relation to each other, not the paper itself. To me, that's a huge limitation. That's not portable, even a little bit. I think instead they should make an electronic binding, like a regular book, with all interconnects in the 'spline', and the CPUs/WiFi in the front or back 'cover'. It could probably be as think as two kindles, and then be useful and portable. But this is an interesting device, all in all.

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