Pulp-based computing

Computer chip embedded in paper

In computers, we have software and hardware. Jokingly, the human brain is sometimes called wetware. Up next: pulpware!

OK, technically it’s hardware–wires, sensors and computer chips–embedded in paper or cardboard. A spiral of conductive ink can be a speaker, or a touch sensor. Two layers, and a page can tell when it is being bent. Among the possible creations are books that talk or light up when their pages are turned (personally, I can’t think of anything more annoying!), or boxes that can tell you how much their content weighs. (Maybe with voice messages. “Don’t even try it, buddy! I’m a hernia-in-waiting!”)

The project was outlined at the recent International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing in Innsbruck, Austria. Here’s a video of the production process and some applications. Here’s the original paper. And here’s the research project’s website.

(Via New Scientist Tech.)

(Also posted to Futurismic.)

Permanent link to this article: https://edwardwillett.com/2007/09/pulp-based-computing/

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