A paperless world?

I’ve been thinking a lot about tablets recently. My dad got an iPad recently and seems to absolutely love it. You can read about his thoughts on it on http://gordonsramblings.blogspot.com/. Now, he recently took it to a camp we were involved in, and used it for notes, timetables, etc and it got me thinking. In a paperless world, do we need tablets?

I love the idea of a paperless world. Anyone who knows me will recognise this. I hate paper so much. I look over at the other side of this room, and there is so much wasted space with loads of paper. But, do current computers really cut it? I don’t think so. I think, in a world with no papers, we need tablets/e-reader type devices. I’ve not totally decided what a device to completely get rid of paper would be, but it certanarily wouldn’t be an e-reader, an ipad or many other of the tablets that exist at this moment in time. It would have to have either a screen that is very very low powered, can be seen in bright sunlight, be nice on the eyes, and still be able to view videos and other colour, and fast-refreshing items (possibly like a colour e-ink screen that has a fast refresh rate), or a screen like a pixel qi screen. I have talked before about pixel qi screens which are used in devices such as the olpc XO laptop, and the Notion ink adam. But, as I said, I’m still not sure which would be best.

Then, of course, we come to the question of input devices, and whether typing on a virtual (or physical) keyboard, or using handwriting recognition, or just allowing freeform writing (so that its like paper) would be best. For the 2nd, we would need better algorithms and for the 3rd we would need nicer screens that would allow pressure sensitivity etc, but I don’t think these are that far off.

Obviously, there are many, many questions that there are during thinking about tablets etc, but the point of this article is to say that I think that we need tablet/e-reader/ipad-like devices to enter the paperless world (and also a change of attitude from some people…but that is a different story).