A new electronic notepad may be lifelike, cheap and energy-efficient enough to replace those wasteful paper slips we still use for memos and grocery lists. The four-ounce Boogie Board runs for years on a single watch battery and, thanks to a novel use of the material inside ordinary computer screens, even mimics the feel of putting pen to paper.
The Boogie Board contains liquid crystals, just like an LCD monitor, but it eliminates pixels and the expensive, power-hungry circuitry they require. Instead, you actually push the crystals around with your stylus or fingernail. That physical pushing is electricity-free (the board uses no power at all until you erase it), and it re-creates a pen-like sensation that produces lines of different thicknesses depending on how hard you press. Use it like a whiteboard for now; future versions will add memory that can save your scribbles for later transfer to a computer.
How to Write Without Paper
The Boogie Board sandwiches trillions of liquid crystals—tiny molecules that arrange themselves in spirals—between two plastic sheets. At rest, the screen appears dark because the spirals lie in a way that lets outside light pass through to the black plastic below. But direct pressure forces the spirals to stand upright. Light then bounces off them, naturally creating a bright whitish color, no energy-hogging lamp needed. The image stays put without power, unlike in a traditional LCD, because polymers mixed in with the liquid crystals help keep them in place. To erase, you press a button that sends a charge between the plastic sheets (which are coated with conductive film) and re-scatters the spirals.
Magazine says $30, Amazon says $130. I say not worth it since it will not save or transfer.
It's a Magna Doodle?
I just went to their website (which is almost as simple as their product) and clicked link to purchase one and it showed available at $30 plus shipping!Much better than the old etch-a-sketch! It would be nice indeed if it had enough memory to save some drawings plus usb port to offload though that would raise the price!
If they could keep the price under 60 bucks and the product was upgraded to USB out and had around a gig of space, *which i imagine would be like 10,000 of those pages* I could see something along those lines doing really well. It would also be *Green* Just think about all those students of every age not killing millions of trees every year taking down notes. Hope to see some further development on this product.
what happens if you make a mistake? i'd like to see a way to only erase a little bit
My son bought one and now I'm buying two! This thing is incredible in its simplicity. The perfect application for this is for playing a game similar to Pictionary. People can't put it down. When I get mine I plan to use it on my desk. For those times when someone calls and I can't find a sticky note to write on or I don't want to start a note on my computer where I will lose it. If that note is important then I will transfer it to my computer before I erase. If not; then I'll push the button and poof it is gone. Perfect for those annoying sales calls. Thank you I have your phone number and I'll call you when I need you. Poof!
That said, it begs for version 2.0 with a color screen option, save to flash, or wifi option to save to google docs/evernote/clipboard, etc. Also, selectively being able to erase a portion of the screen, or turn the stylus into an eraser would all be welcomed additions which I would pay for. But for $30 this thing is a no brainer to buy.
Just use it for tic-tac-toe/dots/hangman with your kids/grandkids/wife/significant other and it is worth it.
I have got one in china market and it works well, I think this is a more fanstic product. paperless writing, low-carbon life, it will do more better for the earth, we are sure.
Boogie Board is NOT battery powered. It is a pressure sensitive LCD. A handy notepad. Really works!
"...Use it like a whiteboard for now; future versions will add memory that can save your scribbles for later transfer to a computer..."
Highly unlikely that this will ever happen.
The writing appears because of a physical rearrangement of the LC in an amorphous pool, not digitally recordable without significant addition of circuitry...and cost.
"We Entertain When It Rains"
This is a fantastic gadget and my just replace those sticky note pads. Though, the yellow sticky note pads are an institution and are seen in every office world over. This is a big challenge.