E-ink tablet prototype can extend itself to other units

By on May 16, 2011, 7:00 AM

Here is an interesting take on tablets that we haven't really seen before. An e-reader device shown off at the CHI 2011 conference in Vancouver, Canada only has one screen, but it can behave as if it has multiple.

Presented by the University of Maryland's Nicholas Chen, the tablet can connect wirelessly with other units, letting users do things like send links between devices. Furthermore, it can also clip magnetically to another unit, so you can look at two pages of the same document at the same time (you know, like a book!). Tek.Gadg has a video for you:

The device was developed in part by Microsoft Research, but you shouldn't get your hopes up. Remember, it's definitely not the first time that the software giant has shown an inclination to develop a tablet that resembles a book.

Back in September 2009, details leaked that the company was developing a new portable device, codenamed Courier. In March 2010, videos of the device were leaked, and it actually looked promising. The following month, Microsoft both confirmed the project and killed it. The innovative dual-display slate never made it past the incubation stage, let alone production.

This type of device has me excited, but not because of the multiple screens aspect: I don't think that's the solution for any type of mobile device. That being said, I do think that devices need a better way to be able to communicate with each other. BlueTooth still feels clunky to me, but I am hopeful about Wi-Fi Direct.

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