Computer as furoshiki revisited

02008-07-30 | Computer | 0 comments

Bruce Sterling revisits an article he published in 1993:

Gadget Watch: Computer as furoshiki revisited
“Computer as furoshiki” is a highly speculative vision of the personal computer as it might evolve if freed from certain current material constraints. The furoshiki is an intimate and ubiquitous accessory to Japanese daily life. It’s nothing more than a large square of tough, well-made cloth, usually with a handsome pattern. The furoshiki is used, among other purposes, as a grocery bag, a book-tote, and a decorative wrapper for ceremonial gifts. In its simplicity and multiple uses it is little different from a cowboy’s bandanna, except that the skill in wrapping and knotting furoshikis is more arcane.

The computer-as-furoshiki is the computer as a large square of lightweight, flexible cloth. It is not, however, “cloth” as that material is currently understood. The furoshiki’s display screen is formed by thin bands of color-emitting optical fibers, which are wide enough and bright enough to mimic the scan-lines of a video display terminal. These display-fibers are interwoven with other fiber-optics carrying data. A second kind of fiber is densely interwoven; it consists of room-temperature superconductive wire, possibly a novel form of buckminsterfullerene for strength and flexibility.
(Via Beyond the Beyond)

Read on.

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