Napkin PC Enables High-Tech Doodling

January 5th, 2008 by Lisa Zyga in Technology / Consumer & Gadgets
Napkin PC
The Napkin PC: "No inhibitions, it´s just a napkin."


The Napkin PC: "No inhibitions, it´s just a napkin."

Designer Avery Holleman has developed the concept of a Napkin PC, a device that uses e-paper and radio frequency (RF) technology to enable creative groups to collaborate more effectively.

The technology includes a "napkin" holder filled with e-paper napkins, as well as a place for colored pens. When someone gets an inspiration, they simply grab a napkin and start doodling with one of the pens. The pen uses short-range RF technology to send data to the napkin interface. The pen and napkin can also communicate to a base station PC in the napkin holder using long-range RF.

Holleman hopes that the Napkin PC concept could enable creative groups - such as architects, artists, and engineers - to collaborate better because the doodles can be easily shared. Another perk of the concept is that the napkins are modular, so designers can connect them to create large-scale layouts. For example, a block of napkins can be hung side by side on a wall to create a large display.

Another advantage is that the Napkin PC requires very little power. It doesn´t even use a battery, but instead relies on a single-layer flexible circuit board for inductive power. The pen itself wirelessly powers the napkin when it comes within close range. The e-paper napkins can retain their bright, full-color images without power for an indefinite period of time.

When doodling, users can sign their name on any napkin to load personal features such as settings and bookmarks. The pens also keep track of who draws what, so that credit can later be given to the appropriate person.

Holleman is hoping that the concept could reduce paper waste, and cut down on the need for printers. The product would be sustainable for several years, with only the napkins occasionally needing to be replaced, which would be done in an environmentally friendly process since no batteries are involved.

via: Yanko Design

"Napkin PC Enables High-Tech Doodling." January 5th, 2008. http://phys.org/news118766237.html