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Prototype products feature bendable plastic screens

January 8, 2013

LAS VEGAS (Updated Jan. 14, 10:25 a.m. ET) — Intel Corp., Plastic Logic Ltd. and Queen’s University have worked together to develop PaperTab, a tablet computer that mimics a sheet of paper.

According to the companies, the device features a flexible, high-resolution 10.7-inch display developed by Plastic Logic, powered by a second generation Intel CoreTM i5 Processor.

“Plastic Logic’s flexible plastic displays allow a natural human interaction with electronic paper, being lighter, thinner and more robust compared with today’s standard glass-based displays,” said Indro Mukerjee, Plastic Logic’s chief executive.

The Cambridge, England, company unveiled PaperTab at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

PaperTab can file and display thousands of paper documents, replacing the need for a computer monitor and stacks of papers or printouts, he added.

“Using several PaperTabs makes it much easier to work with multiple documents,” said Roel Vertegaal, director of Queen’s University’s human media lab, in a news release.

“Within five to 10 years, most computers, from ultra-notebooks to tablets, will look and feel just like these sheets of printed color paper.”

Samsung also featured prototype products with bendable screens at the International Consumer Electronics Show.

Brian Berkeley, senior VP for Samsung's display lab, demonstrated bending the thin piece of plastic, which has been given the brand name "Youm," and how it might work in a tablet by forming a curved edge that could display incoming texts or emails even when a device is closed. A video depicted a tablet that could be folded into a phone.

The idea is to enable Samsung's partners to create a new ecosystem of devices with "bended, folded and rollable screens," Berkeley said.

"This new form factor will really begin to change how people interact with their devices," he added.

Advertising Age and PRW, both sister publications to Plastics News, contributed to this report.