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Home / News / Future soda cans and crisp packets will have touchscreens

Future soda cans and crisp packets will have touchscreens

Would you play Angry Birds on a can of coke? The interactive future is approaching, and we're ready to embrace it with open arms

A future full of touchscreen cereal boxes could very well become a reality according to Queen’s University’s Human Media Lab director Dr Roel Vertegaal, whose flexible e-ink PaperTab has caused quite the stir on the interwebs.

In an interview with Stuff.tv, Dr Vertegaal explains how “We’ve been living in a flat world with one dimension” and how organic user interface like the PaperTab flexible display technology has the power to turn any product into an iPhone-like device.

We’re not talking about making phone calls with a bar of Dairy Milk, mind. “Instead of seeing an augmented reality image layered over a can of Coke, I’d much rather see it on the can itself with no extra tech required,” he says. “I envision a future where newspapers, crisp packets and other everyday objects can offer information and interactivity completely independently.”

The future will see us interacting directly with objects without the clutter of an augmented reality middleman like a smartphone – or even Google’s very own Project Glass specs.”If I’m looking at a piece of paper” he says, “then that’s where I want to see the information. I don’t want it virtually layered in front of my eyes.”

Check out our full interview where the PaperTab and its competition like Google’s Project Glass is explored in more detail. As for us? We’ll be getting some Angry Birds practice in – for when the furious fowl inevitably colonise our Coke cans.

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Profile image of Dan Grabham Dan Grabham Editor-in-Chief


Dan is Editor-in-chief of Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website.  Our Editor-in-Chief is a regular at tech shows such as CES in Las Vegas, IFA in Berlin and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as well as at other launches and events. He has been a CES Innovation Awards judge. Dan is completely platform agnostic and very at home using and writing about Windows, macOS, Android and iOS/iPadOS plus lots and lots of gadgets including audio and smart home gear, laptops and smartphones. He's also been interviewed and quoted in a wide variety of places including The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4, Sky News Radio and BBC Local Radio.

Areas of expertise

Computing, mobile, audio, smart home

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