Researchers developed a paper that can track touch and lead to an inexpensive way to digitalize writing, according to a report published on April 25, 2018.
This study was conducted by the researchers at Carnegie Mellon University. The paper used for this is the typical paper produced from mills, however, a conductive material is attached behind the paper. Researchers looked for a conductive material that was inexpensive as possible and the one, which can be used in a high-volume production scenario. They had to eliminate many materials, owing to its high costs, non-scalability, and poor interaction with the paper. However, two materials that were suitable to be attached to the paper was finally found. It was a carbon-loaded plastic sheet that can be adhered to the paper and carbon-loaded paint that can be silk-screened, brushed or sprayed on.
A sensor board is connected to the sheet of paper, which is attached with one of the conductive backings. Then, when the paper is touched by finger or pen, it gets digitized and can be applied in different ways. The researchers used their paper to digitize notes, enhance a board game, grade a test in real time, and even share articles in a printed newspaper online.
Moreover, the design resulted in a cost of around US$ 0.30 per sheet. The study say that the price can likely be reduced through large-scale production. According to the researchers of this study, more work has to be done on this to obtain a better outcome of this innovation. Researchers said, “We believe this illuminates one possible approach for achieving low-cost, interactive, paper-based experiences in the future.”