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"The SF approach: an awareness that things could have been different, that this is one of many possible worlds, that if you came to this world from some other planet, this would be a science fiction world."
- Neal Stephenson

Smart Paper  
  A very slim thin-film transistor display.  

How thin is your computer display? Some of the newer laptops have displays in the upper part of the "clamshell" that are a quarter of an inch or less.

But, you want to talk thin ... how about paper-thin?

Smart paper consisted of a network of infinitesimal computers sandwiched between mediatrons. A mediatron was a thing that could change its color from place to place...
From The Diamond Age, by Neal Stephenson.
Published by Bantam Books in 1995
Additional resources -

Find out more about thin-film transistor LCD displays. They are a remarkably complex sandwich; it's hard to believe they could become thinner.

However, if you think about instant film (you take the picture, then the film paper itself is passed through a roller, which squeezes developer onto the paper) you realize that there is an image medium that is very thin already.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Diamond Age
  More Ideas and Technology by Neal Stephenson
  Tech news articles related to The Diamond Age
  Tech news articles related to works by Neal Stephenson

Smart Paper-related news articles:
  - Philips Rollable Display (Active-Matrix)
  - Sony LIBRIe E-Ink Electronic Book Update

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Samsung Patent For Smart Contact Lens Camera Granted

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