Yesterday, in this video, fellow business forecaster and futurist,
Patrick Dixon, discussed why he thinks the future of the paper
industry is bright for the foreseeable future. Personally, I’m not
so optimistic and to understand why I’d invite you to watch the
short video below which documents the impressive work researchers
at Queen’s University’s Human Media Lab are doing in creating
“organic user interfaces.”
To be sure, the technology is still not very sophisticated and,
in general, people will be reluctant to change; but if one
considers the success of Amazon’s Kindle and then extrapolates out
(or “jumps the curve”) how organic user interface technology will
only continue to improve in the near future, it is entirely
possible that growing legions of people will soon turn away from
reading the content of newspapers, magazines and books on paper and
instead choose to use flexible electronic paper. This will be
especially true if, as the video suggests, flexible electronic
paper feels like paper and the user can even turn the page in a
fashion similar to paper.
Among the talk of thin-film solar, nano self-assembly, among other ideas at NanoTX’08 conference in Dallas, TX, was a researcher talking about his work with paper batteries. Dr. Mangilal Agarwal of Louisana Tech University talks about how paper batteries work and what problems they solve.
In his latest YouTube video futurist Patrick Dixon says paper use is
up because it “has this extraordinary capacity to deliver bandwidth
to human beings” due to higher resolution as compared to digital
“The sheer physicality of books makes them supremely readable.
It’s a very high definition source for the eye,” says Dixon, adding
that books are “very convenient. You can read through [them]
incredibly quickly. You can flip pages around.”
As to how long will paper continue to dominate communication,
Dixon forecasts that the industry “will continue for a very long
time despite all the advances that are being talked about for the
next 10 years.”
In the video above you are seeing the making of an augmented reality print ad. If you print out the PDF file here, go the their website here and launch your webcam, a highly-detailed MINI Cabrio should appear on the page which you can manipulate and zoom by rotating the ad. You'll need to download 3D plugins for the program to work which is daunting enough, but persevere and you'll get a 3D car on your paper.
You may have read a past article we did on augmented reality pop-up books for kids where people were working towards creating a commercially viable product involving augmented reality. Although they said development would be years away, seems like MINI has gone ahead and shortened the deadline. There have even been cases where cellphones have been used to display augmented reality projections.
Using print ads and a webcam is just the first step, next year we'll be seeing goggles which will make the whole experience that much more exciting.