Jazoon Cut: Interactive Paper

Jazoon Cut is a nice idea: You got a project, they give you 20 minutes to present it (i.e. “cut” as in “cutting edge”). In this Cut, we had NetKernel, iGesture, Interactive Paper, and Privacy Supporting Identity Systems. A rather interesting mix.

This talk really intrigued me. As we all know, the “paperless office” really means “kill more trees”. Every year, the work consumes about 5% more paper and that’s despite declines in book and newspaper sales. The guys around Nadir Weibel came up with a system to link paper with the screen. When Nadir started to draw on the screen as he talked, nobody noticed at first. We were thinking he used a graphics tablet or something like that but he actually used a clipboard with a few sheets of paper on it. The paper was just normal paper with the exception of a fine grid of points printed on it which you can barely make out (The concept is explained here). You’ll need a special pen that can recognize that pattern but after that, you’re set.

The iPaper guys have created two demonstrations of their technology: PaperPoint and PaperProof. The former is a printout of a presentation with a menu and some buttons printed on the paper. So you can use the pen to control the presentation just by using your pen. You want to jump to a certain slide? Draw a dot on the “here” “button” on the printout and the computer will recognize where you are on the printout and sent the command to your presentation software. There are options to select a color and line width and then you can just draw on the paper and the same lines will appear on the screen. Hint: You will want to sit down when you do that; drawing something more complex than a little arrow while juggling the clipboard isn’t for the easily irritated.

Not convinced? Well, PaperProof takes it step further. You don’t actually have the computer running while you use iPaper. What you can do is print out some long text (like the book or article you’re currently working on). Then you go out, relax in your deck-chair with a nice drink at your side and the sun above and edit that text, making corrections, marking errors, etc. With the traditional way, you eventually return to your computer and then you have to go through all that again copying everything you did from paper into your word processor.

PaperProof does that for you. It can recognize a few gestures and your handwriting. So when you return in this scenario, you start your computer, sync it with the pen and when you open your text document, it will already contain all the annotations, error corrections and insertions you made with your pen. Editors and authors around the world, isn’t that a dream come true?

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