If you always wanted to write on paper and instantly have a digital copy ready, here’s your dream come true.
A team of researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a new type of paper which is capable of tracking touch inputs. One of the most useful applications of the new type of paper is its capability to digitize writing, which might prove to be a very useful alternative to traditional input devices like a keyboard.
The unique paper has a conductive material applied to its back which picks upthe touch input. In order to keep the cost low, the researchers made use of a carbon-loaded plastic sheet which has been adhered onto the paper. Another alternative is a carbon-loaded paint which can be silk-screen onto the back or sprayed on.
Once the conductive material is connected to the paper, the paper is able to register touch inputs. Users can make use of a finger, pen or stylus to write on the paper and the input can be digitized by connecting the paper to a PC.
What’s really great about the new paper is that it just costs $0.30 per sheet and researchers claim that the price can further be reduced through mass production. While the technology isn’t absolutely perfect, the researchers claim that it’s just the beginning to achieve “low-cost, interactive, paper-based experiences” for the future. The potential applications in the field of education and design are particularly promising.