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Flexible, ‘paper’ tablet computer unveiled

A collaboration between UK industry, multinational corporate technology and Canadian academia has led to the development of an ultra-thin tablet with the feel and flexibility of a single sheet of paper. The device, however, still has the capacity to view multiple apps and share data with other users.

What has been termed the ‘PaperTab’ by its developers – Cambridge-based company, Plastic Logic, Intel Labs, and the Queen’s University Human Media Lab based in Ontario – is in effect an extremely lightweight 10.7 inch plastic screen which makes use of Intel CoreTM i5 Processor technology.

Users of the PaperTab will be able to alter the display using touchscreen controls, and can also combine different displays where required.

Users can also send information to others simply by tapping on an email option, combining this with a tap on the data needing to be sen,t and then finally bending a corner of the sheet to actually dispatch the communication.

When not in use, the device’s display defaults to thumbnail schemata, enabling users to select the page they want.

Although flexible and lightweight, the PaperTab is – according to Plastic Logic – sufficiently robust to be dropped onto a desk. In many ways, the company argues, the new device mimics a newspaper, with users able to switch pages simply by bending the sheet.

Plastic Logic emphasises that in its opinion there could well be other uses for a flexible, lightweight interactive plastic display sheet of the kind used by the PaperTab device.

The PaperTab was a scheduled feature at the International Consumer Electronics Show, held recently in Las Vegas.

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