Talking Throw-Away Displays?

Leaping right from from the possibilities of tree-free e-paper to the future uses of digital paper, here's Paper IV, a 'fourth generation' of interactive paper for use in packaging and displays. Paper IV is a layer of paperboard - which Sweden with its big forests produces abundantly - with digital information embedded in the honeycomb. A top layer of paper is printed with electronically conductive inks so that when it is touched, audio streams right out of the paper, from speakers also printed onto it (a separate power supply is currently needed).

Apart from the display pictured, Paper IV could be used in applications such as music sampling stations - you know the ones currently in every major book and music store. Since the printed paper display would be relatively inexpensive according to project manager Mikael Gulliksson, it could be changed frequently, and the old display simply 'tossed into the recycling bin'.

Cool concept, but is it truly treehuggable? Gulliksson says it is not totally clear how environmentally-friendly Paper IV can be -it's not in commercial production yet - though he said it has to beat graphic electronic advertising and interactive displays created with a lot of acrylic and/or other plastic materials. Gulliksson's team is now trying to master printing batteries on the paper to lose the separate power source. Perhaps spray-on solar cells for the power source could be next? Via ::Paper Four (English)

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