In what must be the most exciting conference ever (just ahead of Dewey Decimal 2008), a little feature known as epaper showed up at Display 2008 in Tokyo. It seems several companies, including Bridgestone with a full-size broadsheet e-newspaper(what do tires have to do with epaper?) and a collaboration between Seiko, E Ink and Epson (which also wins for strangest interactive website) to make epaper watches, showed off their wares at the Japanese trade show. Other offerings included epaper that can be written on with a stylus(video at the link).
Along with the obvious books and notepads we’re all thinking of, other attendants were thinking of myriad other places epaper could be useful. Those range from IC or RFID cards with PIN displays for added security, pill bottles, grocery price tags (come to think of it, I’ve seen something awfully like it in the supermarkets here), flash drives and headphones. Interestingly enough, there’s a story about a Fujitsu ebook that’s in color as well, although price seems to be a factor in why it’s not out yet. According to the guys at DWT, August is when many of these products will be available to vendors, so start looking for epaper everythings to start popping up soon after. I know I can’t wait.
Bonus display blogging: 3D displays without the paper glasses.
(via DigitalWorldTokyo, a site I apparently need to visit more often) (image also via DigitalWorldTokyo)
Researchers at the University of Washington are curious to see what effects RFID technology could have on social networking. To see what happens when the tags become ubiquitous, they installed two hundred antennae in and around a campus building and gave tags to twelve researchers. The results? Their every move is recorded by computer. [image by akaalias]
If that sounds sinister, that’s the entire point. The experiment is designed to see if the negative implications for privacy can be balanced by the more positive functions. [via Roland Piquepaille]
It’s good to see these sort of implications being considered in public … maybe we’ve started to learn from our mistakes and keep an eye on the road ahead?
The ever-illuminating Charles Stross talks about plans for MI5 to have access to the databases for Oyster, the wireless card that regular users of the London Underground swipe instead of paper tickets. He discusses the possible ramifications of intelligence agencies being able to track your movements across the capital.
The news stories about Oyster pose good questions about the future of RFID: with cracks in the encryption beginning to be found, what are the risks of having everything wirelessly connected? Is the added convenience going to expose us to a new breed of hackers? Expect this to appear in the next series of Spooks, for sure.
[via Charles Stross, image by Mirka23]
Remember all those RFID security hacker types trying to tell our governments that the technology would be easy to compromise? They weren’t making it up – the first proof-of-concept exploits for passport RFID are already in the bag.