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Fold Up Digital Paper...Electronic Ink

Techstination feature for Tuesday, June 20, 2000

Download the morning paper. Fold it up and put it in your briefcase. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. Imagine if you could peel the screen off of a laptop computer and put it in your pocket... .text and all. That gives you a pretty good idea of what's coming from a collaboration between Lucent Technologies and a company called E-Ink... a spin-off from the labs at MIT. Lucent is making organic transistors that can be printed on with this new electronic ink. Andy Garman is the VP at Lucent's New Ventures Group...

"I could have a book or a newspaper equivalent, plug it into my PC, have a set of a hundred blank pages for example and download the content to those pages and fill them up."

Electronic books that look and feel like real books... but when you re-connect either with or without wires... .you can change what's inside entirely... .

"You wouldn't require any power to maintain it in the on position, so you could then take the individual papers and walk around with them and use them and so on and then when you wanted to erase it or write some new content on it you just sort of plug it in again and get some new content."

Wild? You bet. But Garman says the technology is real and could be widely available and affordable in about three years. The whole idea sounds to me like a high tech version of those tablets they sell in toy stores for kids... .where you peel up the page to make text disappear. You can find more of our text on the Web at Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin for CBS News.