Finally, Good Graphics For SF E-Paper
Science fiction writers have been talking about the virtues of electronic paper for decades; finally, mobilepc magazine has given us the graphics we've been waiting for in their "Wonders That Will Be" issue.
MicroMedia paper is the name given to it in the article; that has a sort of 1980's "microcomputer" kind of feeling to it for me. I think I like mediatron better; that's what Neal Stephenson called it in his 1995 novel The Diamond Age.
The magazine also had a cool exploded-view diagram:
I like the addition of wi-fi and sound capability - that's a great idea. However, I think that you could really take this to the next level with Stephenson's runcible, which was a book that was made of mediatrons and had a supercomputer built into the spine of the book. Not only did you get to keep the multi-page random access book structure (this is one reason why single-screen devices like tablet pcs fail to catch on), but you get the full library to boot.
In his 2003 novel Darwin's Children, Greg Bear refers to e-paper, which is pretty close to the MicroMedia sheet idea. Bear introduced the additional cool features of coded login and erasure for security.
Finally, if you are looking for something that really goes back, take a look at the poster TV from Larry Niven's A World Out of Time - written in 1976.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/20/2004)
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