Tablet with flexible screen to be shown

The prototype PaperTab, being developed by Intel, Plastic Logic and Queens University, could become available in three to five years

A prototype flexible tablet with edges that can be bent to switch between pages is expected to be shown at the International CES this week.

The PaperTab has a flexible 10.7-inch grayscale screen and is being pitched as a future alternative to heavier tablets with glass screens. The tablet with a flexible substrate is being developed by Intel, Plastic Logic and Queens University in Canada.

This kind of tablet could be commercially available within three to five years, but a definitive release date cannot be made at this point, said Roel Vertegaal, professor of human-computer interaction at Queen's University's School of Computing, in an email.

Current prototypes have grayscale screens, but flexible tablets with color displays are also in the works, Vertegaal said.

"In the current prototype the displays are powered through a tether to create the thinnest possible sensation. We have versions that are fully self-contained, including flexible batteries," Vertegaal said, adding that now the technology has to be commercialized.

The tablet is powered by an Intel Core i5 processor based on the Sandy Bridge architecture. Vertegaal said there are versions of the tablet with semiconductors built inside the flexible substrate.

The flexible tablet has a new usage model in which each application runs on a separate PaperTab, much like a paper tablet. A list of applications is shown on one PaperTab, and clicking an icon loads an app on another PaperTab. PaperTabs can also be linked together to show widescreen images.

Users can have different PaperTabs running multiple applications, but the tablets can also interact with each other. For example, one PaperTab can show an email inbox, and a new email can be started on a separate tablet by tapping two PaperTabs together.

A soft keyboard can also be used for input on a PaperTab, according to a YouTube video demonstrating the technology.

In e-book mode, the flexible display can be bent on the left or the right to switch between pages.

Plastic Logic is based in the U.K., and develops technology for flexible e-ink substrates with semiconductors. The Human Media Lab (HML) at Queen's University has also developed a prototype flexible smartphone called PaperPhone, which operates like a regular smartphone.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags tabletsintelhardware systemsCES

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?