Saturday, October 24, 2009

ePaper of the future by Katherine Mangu-Ward

K M-W has a great take on something several writers, including John, have included in their future fiction: Electronic Paper.

Wiki Magazines on the Way, Neal Stephenson Is Awesome.

News for the Vickies
Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age offers a portrait of an exclusive community of neo-Victorians living within a dizzying nanotech future. One of the charming quirks of the upper echelons: Reading the same news as other people in their social group—sometimes even on paper:
 . . .

Looks like Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is bringing us one step closer to the the future of nostalgia for the past, with a hybrid option

Read the rest at the link above.

John's take on products like this was a little more far-reaching.  He has electronic paper being used for almost everything, so much so that if you want something on traditional paper you need to request "pulp".  Suki gets a smoking, open flame and prostitution ticket in DC on ePaper, that is electronically signed by everybody concerned, including the appellate judge, and the officer remotely scans her "stimulus card" (government issued credit card) for payment.  John's vehicle invoices and registration are ePaper, with biometric authentication.

In Suki II (Google browse link below), Suki's wedding license and certificate with Sunshine are done on a variant, a notary's log not much thicker than paper.  Most all of these items are connected through The Mesh to K-Net.

When Suki changes her name, in Suki IV (browse on Google, below), every document she ever created on the networks is updated with her new name.  Pretty cool stuff.

Expect a comment from John below (or I can add it here if he e-mails it to me).  We discussed Diamond Age during  the drafts of Suki I and I was surprised to discover John only read a little of it and didn't like it.  He is heavy into Snow Crash.  I liked both but retained more from SC than DA.

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1 comment:

  1. Suki,

    You mostly covered it. I had the idea in my head for years after reading something about an MIT Media Labs project for electronic paper when I was working on an Army project in the 1990s.

    Since then, I have pretty much seen what K M-W wrote about and what Neil Stephenson had in Diamond Age (and I was clueless that it was in there).

    I thought those were all good ideas, but I also thought this technology could be extended to other uses besides reading news. I make mention someplace, maybe on, that in the future I was dreaming of, only and another paper were available in pulp. Everything else is ePaper.

    However, as you mention, I have almost everything we do today on pulp and on tablet computers (think the FedEx and UPS deleveries) done on ePaper too. Like Patricia's pizza bill and reciept when Samantha comes over for lunch in Suki I.