by Jasmine Hong, St. Peter’s CHS
Dr. Audrey Girouard is a co-inventor of an invention that will one day blow the world away. The project that she and a group of four others are doing is one of a kind. No other place in the world is trying to accomplish this difficult project. It a flexible paper thin phone that uses bend-inputs and e-ink to function. They call it the Paper Phone because of its paper like properties.
The Paper Phone uses the latest technology to work. While it has been in the making for the last 7 to 10 years, they have only been able to start working on it since the summer of 2010 because the display had only become accessible in August 2010. Girouard and her team use the already decided flexibility of the phone to their advantage and are using bend-inputs to go from destination to destination in the phone. When bent a certain way, the bend-input will create a value and which creates a reaction and will carry out the task whether it is calling another phone or putting an image on the screen. It also uses e-ink. E-ink is also a new technology that creates the images on the paper-like screen. It involves a few drops of ink and a current. When the electric current goes through the ink, it rises and shows on the screen. Therefore, when the current is cut off, the ink fades away again. The inventors of the Paper Phone have used the new technologies around them and the properties of the phone to their advantage.
At the moment, the phone is only at the prototype stage as they don’t have a paper thin hard-drive or battery. At the moment, the Paper Phone is capable of sending a call and accessing different applications but it can only do so slowly when attached to a computer. Girouard hopes that in the future, the phone will have a small camera, full flexibility, colour, touch, bend and pen technology before it hits the stores.
While the phone is completed yet, Girouard believes it will be seen in stores in the next 7 to 8 years. Girouard think that the phone will probably be sold at the same price of other phones even with its pricey prototype.