Disney's Paper Generators Could Power Interactive Books of the Future

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Disney has developed a new technology that allows you to generate energy by simply rubbing or touching a piece of paper. This is something the world needs because, you know, everything will require a level of interactivity in the future—even old-fashioned paper books.

Disney's paper generators make use of electrets, which are materials that hold a semi-permanent electrical charge. In the case of the demonstration project in the video above, the electret is a sheet of Teflon. When you rub a sheet of paper that has conductive ink printed on it with the negatively charged teflon, you generate a slight charge.


As the Disney Paper points out, this slight charge can be generated by different forms of touch besides rubbing, like, for example, tapping. The charge can then be used to power a host of applications like lighting up LEDs or revealing a hidden design on an e-paper display.

In case it's not obvious from the video, Disney's got its eyes on your kids with this technology. In a world full of tablets and smartphones, ordinary children's books are going to seem pretty boring to kids in the future. A little human-powered interactivity could help make books more fun to read. Hell, most adults you know could probably use a little incentive to pick up anything paper and stare at it for more than one minute at a time. Rubbing to the rescue of reading. [Disney Research]