How Fabric PCs Will Work

Future PC Technologies

The Fabric PC has a large, flexible e-paper display.
The Fabric PC has a large, flexible e-paper display.

As the technologies behind the Fabric PC concept continue to develop, durable, pliable and light-weight computer-based devices will be introduced into all corners of the business and entertainment world.

To illustrate, Fujitsu has unveiled several other concept devices along with the Fabric PC, which rely on similar basic technology. One example is the "clerk browser" -- a computer worn around the wrist like a large bracelet. This concept device was demonstrated as a means by which store clerks or salespeople could provide on-the-spot information to customers -- although it's easy to imagine other applications for this type of wearable computer. As with the Fabric PC, e-paper and small, lightweight components would be essential features of this type of device.

The "card viewer" is another one of Fujitsu's concept designs that would rely on e-paper. In fact, this device can be thought of as an e-paper notepad. Because e-paper requires inputs to make changes to its display, once the display is set, it remains set, even when disconnected from its power source. The card viewer concept takes advantage of this situation by incorporating one or more sheets of e-paper displays that can be detached from the device and handed off just like a business card. The detached sheet of e-paper will continue to display the same image -- just like a normal piece of paper pulled from a notepad -- until reattached and updated.

There are countless other possible applications for the types of technology that Fabric PCs will employ. Just like Fabric PCs, most of these concepts will have to wait a few years until the supporting technology becomes more advanced and affordable. In the meantime we'll have to make do with these exciting concept models, and a little imagination, too.

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  • DeJean, David. "Amazon's Kindle: The Parchment of E-Paper." Computerworld. June 8, 2008. (July 16, 2008)
  • E Ink Corporation. "Electronic Paper Displays: Electronic Ink." (July 16, 2008)
  • Frucci, Adam. "Fujitsu's Fabric PC and Three Other Forward-Looking Concepts." January 6, 2008. (July 16, 2008)
  • Genuth, Iddo. "The Future of Electronic Paper." The Future of Things. October 15, 2007. (July 16, 2008)
  • Handy, Jim. "Flash Memory vs. Hard Disk Drives - Which Will Win?" Storage (July 16, 2008)
  • Ramirez, Louis. "Fujitsu Dresses its Fab PC Concept in Fabric." May 30, 2007. (July 16, 2008)
  • Topolsky, Joshua. "Fujitsu intros a handful of concept designs at CES 2008." January 6, 2008. (July 16, 2008)