A wall calendar made of intelligent paper that displays the latest updates from your smartphone is the idea underlying designer Kosho Tsuboi’s “Magic Calendar”, grand prizewinner of an Android competition in Japan.
Tokyo, from our correspondent
Like many people, designer Kosho Tsuboi meticulously uses the calendar app on his smartphone to organize his daily life. But he is also nostalgic for the good old-fashioned paper calendar hanging on his kitchen wall, which he was used to sharing with the whole family. Imagining an object that could inherit the characteristics of both these parallel worlds led him to develop a prototype of the “magic calendar”. On the wall or on the desk, appointments entered into your smartphone would be seen at a glance, directly in the physical world.
Kosho Tsuboi’s Magic Calendar may still be in prototype phase, but it is one of the four grand prizewinners in the Japanese competition Android Experiments Object, launched by Google last summer. Some 30 finalists were selected from more than 200 ideas for prototypes in response to the question: “What are your ideas for a device to make the world more fun and more convenient?” A jury picked out the most promising ones, helped by 19,000 online votes. Google has committed to providing financial support (up to 5 million yen, or approximately $45,650) to realize the winning prototypes.
Presentation of “Magic Calendar” by Kosho Tsuboi:
If in principle, the smart calendar has all the domotic charm of yet another element of IoT, its “magic” resides in the visual texture of its electronic paper. “There is a certain surprise that comes from updating information digitally on a medium whose weight and texture are associated with paper,” Tsuboi explains, as he imagines a very near future where “the boundaries between analogue and digital will disappear”. For now, the product designer recognizes that his prototype “uses a few techniques to resemble paper, including optical illusion”.
Elegant, discreet and easy on the eyes, this life-size Android calendar could quite seamlessly look and feel right at home in your own kitchen. Unlike LED screens, electronic paper consumes so little energy that it can function for up to three months before needing a recharge. We can already imagine the plethora of potential applications with the evolution of dynamic ink, from practical uses to more fantastic sketches and illustrations, especially once the magic posterboard outgrows simple display to react directly to touch…