Smart Paper by LEG [email@example.com]
One of the outstanding products of TL8 science is Smart Paper, a material that looks and feels very much like thick, glossy paper, but is actually a controllable display surface. It combines the advantages of paper and screen, and has countless applications. There are several ways to make Smart Paper. Some manufacturers use thousands of tiny spheres with one dark and one bright hemisphere embedded between thin polymer foils, others make sheets out of crystal particles that can assume a certain color and level of brightness and maintain it without power.
There are two versions of Smart Paper: Normal and Advanced.
Normal Smart Paper is early TL8 and cannot change very quickly. Its surface can change many times per second, but not quick enough for video applications. The resolution of Normal Smart Paper is equal to that of a 20th century newspaper.
Normal Smart Paper has only very crude sensors to detect stylus movements on its surface. It can function as a simple touch screen, but writing can only be recognized with a Smart Pen, and it does not react very quickly. Users scribble on a small writing pad at the bottom of the page, which offers a quicker response.
Advanced Smart Paper is available at late TL8 or early TL9. Its resolution is like that of a modern high-quality art book, and it can change so quickly that it can be used to display video images in perfect quality.
Advanced Smart Paper has a fine latticework of sensors that can detect the movements on a stylus with a special electrically conductive tip (a dozen cost $50) or a Smart Pen. The overall quality of handwriting recognition depends on the Computer attached to the Smart Paper sheet. See Handwriting Recognition below.
Smart paper requires only minute amounts of energy, and all this comes from a tiny solar cell in one of the corners of a page or on the cover. Smart Paper can maintain its content without energy, but the quality of the image degrades after a few months. GMs take note: The good old barely-legible treasure map, the mainstay of many adventure stories, makes its comeback in the computer age as Smart Paper that has been in a dark corner for too long.