These Flexible E-Paper Tablets Could Change Your Desk Forever

Everyone dreams of an electronic display they can roll up and shove in their pocket — but now it's closer than ever. These flexible e-paper tablets are the stuff of dreams.

Developed by Queen's University, Plastic Logic and Intel Labs, the displays look like sheets of paper, but they're actually 10.7-inch plastic displays that are flexible and touch sensitive. Here, a bunch of them are strung together and powered by Intel guts.

Each display houses a different app, and the screens can interact with each other: tap one page on another to open a document or email, say, and then flick or twist to provide commands. The displays also know where others are, so they can be teamed up to produce a larger screen when placed next to each other.

It's an amazingly realised concept, which feels a little bit like how people 20 years ago probably imagined modern offices should look. OK, maybe it's not perfectly polished — refreshing looks dog slow and it feels awkward with all those ribbon cables over the desk — but give it a break. If my desk looks like a neater version of this in a few years time, I will be a happy man. [YouTube]



    this was painful to watch

    Maybe I'm missing the point here, but it just seems like it would clutter up the desk, just like paper documents already do.

      give it a break, its a proof of concept. Realistically things in the "cool zone" would probably end up fixed monitors etc.

      Really? Did you even watch the video? It is really just a massively interactive multiple-monitor set-up that could work just as easily with a single PaperTab. They were just using a few of them to show the possibilities.

        Of course I watched the video. That's where I saw a bunch of plastic documents strewn over a table.

        I don't think it's a bad idea, but there must be better applications than having a whole bunch on your desk. To me it seems pointless having all these apps and documents for one person stored on separate media.

        Maybe a better demo would have been to have 2 or 3 work colleagues, each with their own document, who would gather at a meeting, and exchange information via the documents, and maybe link them together to give an overview of each contribution.

        Last edited 10/01/13 6:43 pm

          Just because they showed it a certain way doesn't mean that is the only way it could be used. For example, imagine each of those tablets belongs to a different member of your team. As a manager, you could easily organise each one specifically for each team member and hand them out at the start of the day. Lock the office up before you go home and the data is centralised and secure and your guys can't use the excuse "I never got that email" or I couldn't VPN into the network" or anything else.

    Impressive! Still a bit rough around the edges (no pun intended) but the future paperless office is looking good.

    A paperless office where the paper is replaced by substitute paper? Sounds like Basil Fawlty's Jappo-Norwegian Veal substitute (looked just like veal)

      Paper that can be reused over and over! When it comes to fruition I think this will cut down on a lot of paper.

      What you described might sound like that but what I saw in the video was something completely different.

    just give me an ereader like this without the plastic cover and take my money dammit.

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