The technology includes a "napkin" holder filled with e-paper napkins, as well as a place for colored pens. When someone gets an inspiration, they simply grab a napkin and start doodling with one of the pens. The pen uses short-range RF technology to send data to the napkin interface. The pen and napkin can also communicate to a base station PC in the napkin holder using long-range RF.
Holleman hopes that the Napkin PC concept could enable creative groups - such as architects, artists, and engineers - to collaborate better because the doodles can be easily shared. Another perk of the concept is that the napkins are modular, so designers can connect them to create large-scale layouts. For example, a block of napkins can be hung side by side on a wall to create a large display.
Another advantage is that the Napkin PC requires very little power. It doesn´t even use a battery, but instead relies on a single-layer flexible circuit board for inductive power. The pen itself wirelessly powers the napkin when it comes within close range. The e-paper napkins can retain their bright, full-color images without power for an indefinite period of time.
It is said that many a great idea was born on a napkin. So Industrial Designer, Avery Holleman, developed the Napkin PC. The Napkin PC is a cool concept that uses a base station - disguised as a napkin holder - with seven different stylus pens that allows multiple users to scribble their ideas down on individual "napkins" that ultimately interface with the base station.
It's definitely an idea that has got creative types and businessmen thinking "outside the box". The concept allows users to not have to limit their creativity to in front of a PC screen. The "napkins" employ full color e-paper and multi-touch technology.
The napkins can hold the image drawn on it indefinitely, or until it's cleared off by the user. Which means you can hang it up, or share it with your coworkers at your next meeting.
The Napkin PC took first place Judge's Award and Chairman's Award in NextGen's PC Design Competition.