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When Nanotechnology Is Incorporated into Paper Electronics
March 24, 2014

Mainstream use of paper electronics with incorporated nanotechnology is still a ways off into the future. However in the last decade progress in the field has been greatly stimulated by advancements in thin film deposition and organic materials.

However the promise of electronics integrated into or printed out on paper has attracted significant international attention. Therefore, though still a ways off, one should not be surprised if in the future even ordinary sheets of paper are given a technological upgrade.

The End of Trade Shows?
March 17, 2014

I don't think the large shows like drupa, Ipex, and GRAPH EXPO will be shutting down any time soon. But we will increasingly see major targeted events run by manufacturers that will compete with (and draw attendees away from) the traditional shows.

How Plastic Money Could Spawn Paper-thin Electronics
July 29, 2013

This spring, astronaut Chris Hadfield unveiled the currency of Canada’s future by spinning a banknote in zero gravity. It was a (Canadian) $5 bill, the latest to be made not of paper or cotton fiber but of polymer.

The purpose is ostensibly to deter counterfeiters, with a side-effect of increased durability (2.5 times as durable, according to the Bank of Canada). But an even more distant side-effect is now being explored in Australia, by the research institution that spawned plastic money in the first place: printable solar power.

A Troubling Sign for Tablet Magazines?
May 29, 2013

Despite all the hype about iPads and Kindles, U.S. magazine publishers are making far more money on the Web and generally wondering when their tablet investments will pay off.

In fact, though no one seems to talk about it, the real game-changing technology for subscription magazines has been browser-based editions—that is, digital replicas that can be read on any computer. Many a B2B publication has shifted 50 percent or more of its subscription base to these simple page-flip editions, but few print-and-digital publications get even 10 percent of their circulation from tablet editions.

MIT Unveils 4-D Printing
February 28, 2013

Skylar Tibbits, a trained architect, designer, computer scientist, as well as a TED2012 Senior Fellow, recently presented a new concept at TED2013: 4-D printing—where materials can be reprogrammed to self-assemble into new structures. Apparently, this is just the tip of the iceberg in manufacturing with minimum energy consumption.

“If we combine the processes that natural systems offer intrinsically (genetic instructions, energy production, error correction) with those artificial or synthetic (programmability for design and scaffold, structure, mechanisms) we can potentially have extremely large-scale quasi-biological and quasi-synthetic architectural organisms,” noted Tibbits.