Looking into our crystal ball, we'd say the future of computing is looking bendy. Billed as the world's first "paper tablet PC," PaperTab looks to combine the tangibility of paper with the speed and convenience of digital.
PaperTab is the brainchild of Queen's University's Human Media Lab, Plastic Logic and Intel Labs. It's a flexible "high-resolution 10.7-inch" touchscreen display (no details on resolution) and is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor (not shown in any photos).
As we already alluded to earlier, the PaperTab is a new spin on working with multiple documents.
The key difference between the PaperTab and an iPad is that each display is essentially one app. By limiting a single app to each PaperTab, users can do things like share PDFs just by tapping two tablets together, fast-forward during a video by bending the display, and opening emails by touching two displays together.
Multiple PaperTabs can also be combined to create expanded displays and drag-and-drop functionality between tablets.
PaperTabs are also proximity-smart. According to Human Media Lab's website, each PaperTab knows its location relative to other PaperTabs. If a PaperTab is held, it will display a fullscreen app window. If it's placed on a table, but still within reach of the user, it'll show a thumbnail of a document. And if the PaperTab is placed outside of reaching distance, it'll only display icons.
The "tablet" isn't quite wireless yet, as it looks to require power from a computer that is presumably under the desk. However, as we move towards a future of "natural computing," the PaperTab could be a concept technology that'll finally the old timers to finally join the digital revolution.
To get a sense of how the PaperTab works, check out the video demonstration of it below.
Via Human Media Lab