Thursday 10 January 2013

Foldable tablets in 5 years

Researchers have developed a prototype of a tablet screen as thin as a sheet of paper that can be twisted and dropped without damage. It could be in stores in the next five years.

Researchers at Queen's University in Canada have developed a revolutionary tablet screen as thin as a sheet of paper that can be twisted and dropped without damage and could become available for sale in five years. Developed in collaboration with Plastic Logic and Intel Labs, it could lead to new gadgets that are virtually unbreakable and as thin as paper. The PaperTab is fully interactive with a flexible, high resolution 10.7 inch plastic display developed by Plastic Logic, and powered by the second generation Intel CoreTM i5 Processor, the Daily Mail has reported.

However, this is not the only effort to create a foldable display and Samsung has in fact moved closer to producing its Youm displays, which are ultra thin Amoled panels that will be bendable, stretchable, rollable and foldable like a piece of paper. However, Samsung will not make completely foldable gadgets, which kind of negates the benefit that this glass offers

"Plastic Logic's flexible plastic displays allow a natural human interaction with electronic paper, being lighter, thinner and more robust compared with today's standard glass-based displays," said Indro Mukerjee, chief executive officer of Plastic Logic. Researchers plan to launch the screen at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. They have shown off the concept for a new desktop, using sheets of paper for each app rather than a traditional screen with windows. Instead of using several apps or windows on a single display, users have ten or more interactive displays or PaperTabs, each being a different app. They can also be used as e-books, with users simply bending the screen to turn pages. "Using several PaperTabs makes it much easier to work with multiple documents," said Roel Vertegaal, director of Queen's University's Human Media Lab. For example, PaperTab 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. Similarly, a larger drawing or display is created simply by placing two or more PaperTabs side by side. Intel claims the technology could eventually replace traditional screens altogether. "Within five to ten years, most computers, from ultra-notebooks to tablets, will look and feel just like these sheets of printed colour paper," said Ryan Brotman, Research Scientist at Intel.

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