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Are we facing a flexible future?

4 years ago

Tom Baker writer
Tom Baker Quib.ly Staff Writer Derby, UK

What’s the best way to avoid cracked laptop screens, shattered smartphones, or smashed tablets? Well, the truly best way is probably to be less clumsy, but the most interesting way is the invention of flexible technology. It’s in the prototype stage right now, but it’s exciting.

Plastic Logic unveiled their PaperTab – a tablet as thin and flexible as a sheet of paper – at the Consumer Electronics Show this week.

What are these bendy screens going to be used for, though? Well, the most obvious is as mentioned – they’ll, presumably, be a lot harder to break – as is the idea behind flexible smartphones. Good news for parents, since it means an over-zealous child is less likely to destroy your precious tech. But there are also long-term, practical uses.

As the prototype PaperTab shows (video below), the flexible nature means apps can be navigated through intuitively and videos skipped through, by dog-earing the corners of the ‘page’ – making them more accessible to children, or the elderly.

The company reckon their tablet will replace actual paper before too long, ‘revolutionising’ the world of work. It’d sure save a lot of trees, but maybe it’s a little too bold a claim.

Roel Vertegaal, director of Queen’s University, has a prediction that seems more likely:

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

How do you feel about this vision for a paperless future? Will this make hardware feel ever more disposable? Or perhaps you’re more taken with the new big n’ bulky tablets coming out?

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Opinion 4 years ago

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