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.)

(Photo from MIT.)

[tags]computers, MIT, technology, paper[/tags]