Sony’s been making a metric ton of announcements lately – apparently, their design department’s been rather busy. First, we saw Project Morpheus take GDC 2014 by storm, and now it looks like the organization’s hoping to effectively replace loose-leaf paper in the office. Perhaps I should elaborate.
Last week, Sony unveiled a product it refers to simply as Digital Paper. It is, says the product page, the end of all paper trails. In conjunction with document management software, it basically revolutionizes the workplace, eliminating the need for the clutter created by loose papers around the office. With Paper, it continues, you’ll be able to quickly, easily, and securely access files, make and upload handwritten notes and annotated documents, and share anything you’ve made quickly with clients, colleagues, and co-workers. File sharing evidently plays a part too, with a Google Docs-esque markup and editing system. At the moment, it’s capable of opening PDF, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint files. To better allow for file transfers, it also incorporates WiFi and USB connectivity.
Of course, the hardware to accomplish all this has been around for years now – all of these features on their own are hardly anything new or revolutionary. What’s truly impressive about Digital Paper is that it’s only .26 inches thick – that’s about as thick as a small notebook (thirty sheets of paper) – and weighs in at 12.6 ounces. What this basically means is that it can fit effortlessly into pretty much any bag or briefcase you might want to use for transport. Factor in that the battery can last up to three weeks on a single charge and that the display’s designed so it can be read in broad daylight, and you’ve got what seems to be a winning product.
I’m not so sure I’m sold on the idea, though. I’ve always found writing with a stylus to be a somewhat cumbersome experience, myself. Unless Digital Paper incorporates a means of making the use of the product feel more natural, I think I might just stick to genuine article – even if it is a whole lot easier to misplace. What do you guys think, though? Does Digital Paper sound like a product you’d use, or is it just another touchscreen-enabled gimmick?