As awful as paper is to use, it still has some things going for it: it's thin, it's light, and it can be folded into complex structures that predict the future. Instead of trying to cram paper books into digital e-readers, we should instead force our digital content to behave more like paper, and this prototype foldable touchscreen is exactly how it should happen.
Until someone actually makes double-sided, foldable touchscreens, we're stuck with demos that rely on overhead projectors and infrared tracking systems. But don't let that take any of the magic away for you: we have the technology, right now, we just have to use it.
Researcher Juergen Steimle (who's now with the Fluid Interfaces group at the MIT Media Lab) developed this prototype of an interactively folding touchscreen display, featuring spring-loaded reversible hinges that let the user interact with the content by bending the pages. But more importantly, the foldable form-factor also means that you can have one device that will transform into whatever size you need it to be. On the go? Fold it down so that it'll fit in your pocket. Want to watch a movie? Unfold it completely for a big screen display.
So, why should this be the future of books? This takes what's good about books and good about digital, and combines them without sacrificing anything.
Drool over the video below, and imagine how this could be the ideal future for both paper and silicon.
Via New Scientist