Reinventing usability of Paper

The first type of electricity discovered was static electricity. The discovery of static electricity was mankind’s first step towards learning about electricity. This was many years ago.
The best known example comes from our physics class. Where we were asked to run the comb through our hair and place it near tiny bits of papers. What happens next is due to Static. This is an age old theory and now the goal is to put electronics into paper.

Recently there have been many researchers trying to accomplish this and according to Daniel Torbjork, a physics graduate student at the Abo Akademi University in Finland suggest,

“While most electronic applications require patterned conducting structures, conducting paper could be used in applications such as energy storage devices, sensors, electric heaters, electric field emitters, antistatic coatings, and electromagnetic shields”.

The major task is not about developing it; instead its how to produce it economically. Torbjork has been trying to combine flexibility, low-cost and recyclability of papers with the information carrying ability of electronics.

The concept has already been implemented by a few. For e.g. Professor Karen K. Gleason have figured out how to put a solar cell into a piece of folding paper and the German researchers have successfully embedded electronic chips in paper bank notes to thwart counterfeiters.

Currently Torbjork and Professor Ronald Osterbacka at the university’s Center for Functional Materials are developing a low-voltage organic transistor as well as a special roll-to-roll printing system for electronic devices. A Finnish paper firm Srora Enso is also supporting these developments.

Some say that given the challenges that papers bring with it like large surface roughness, porosity and chemical impurities could be an obstacle. We all know that the best substrate is glass, then plastics and beyond that there are also metal solutions. So if we are thinking of paper as a substrate it looks like a few more years of research and struggle to make this dream come true. And certainly a worthy patent petition when someone comes up with a conductive paper.

Via: DiscoveryNews

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The Reader: A Smart mouse

1968 was when Douglas C. Engelbart presented the world the very first computer mouse. A small wooden box with a wheel and a button, with time wood was replaced and so was the wheel.

Technology has given it a new shape, size and versatility. However as we all know with time even good things come to end. And as touch screen slowly replaces the mouse and they on the verge of being archived. But that won’t happen anytime soon.

Few former students of ETH Zurich have developed a function for the new mouse to go unnoticed. A software program that enable this mouse developed by Dacuda to do a bit of reading by scanning the screen as you move it around. So the user can capture text and images. A program that uses the highlighted mark to be adopted can be initiated by the touch a button. This is because of some complex algorithms in robotics that is used to build this software.

What makes it more unique and wanted is its capability to understand 198 languages and its compatibility with the three major OS i.e. Windows, Apple Mac OS and Linux.

This genius will be distributed by the Korean hardware manufacturing giant, LG Electronics. Priced at 99 € the mouse shall see its first summer this year.

This application has opened a portal where its usage and competitors may find alternative or better ways of using it. But for now as we have a smart mouse, let’s make the most of it.

Via: Sueddeutsche

Microsoft – Skype’s $8.5 Billion deal

Microsoft buys Skype at $8.5 billion dollars in an all cash deal. This deal is already confirmed by Wall Street and will be the headline soon as Steve Ballmer and Skype CEO Tony Bates will be hosting a press conference in a few hours from now.

Skype was up for sale for quite sometime, with likes of companies like Google and Facebook already in the race. Microsoft who was a late entrant will be walking away with the cheery, cake and all the toping.

Few question that might be already out and around, which needs to be answered?

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