Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Napkin PC: "No inhibitions, it´s just a napkin."

When e-paper is combined with Bluetooth, WiMax and a (cleverly disguised) PC, Disruptive Tech emerges in the form of the Napkin PC, an elegant, low powered approach to group collaboration that could change how creativity and education functions.

"The technology includes a "napkin" holder filled with e-paper napkins, as well as a place for colored pens. When someone gets an inspiration, they simply grab a napkin and start doodling with one of the pens. The pen uses short-range RF technology to send data to the napkin interface. The pen and napkin can also communicate to a base station PC in the napkin holder using long-range RF.

Holleman hopes that the Napkin PC concept could enable creative groups - such as architects, artists, and engineers - to collaborate better because the doodles can be easily shared. Another perk of the concept is that the napkins are modular, so designers can connect them to create large-scale layouts. For example, a block of napkins can be hung side by side on a wall to create a large display."

Using this, people (students, architects, suits, etc., etc.) wanting to collaborate on any given project can sketch it out and not worry about the vagaries of a cumbersome computer interface interfering with creating something loose and really cool. Additionally, if the PC is connected to the web via WiMax, designers could upload output from the e-paper napkins for online distribution. Yanko Design published this very hip concept created by Avery Holleman to show how systems become invisible when placed in the hands of somebody who knows how to make it happen. C'mon Apple, how about "thinking different" on this one."

"Party on!" - Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

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