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"Conspiracy theories are big because they're comforting. Any conspiracy is infinitely less multiplex than the real deal, which is multiplex to the point of being unknowable."
- William Gibson

Polycarbon Phone Screen  
  A telephone that provides videophone capability using a very thin screen that is folded away when not in use.  

Nokia, are you paying attention? I'm just wondering if you have to wait for it to dry the first time you use it, like butterflys need to wait for their wings to dry and become stiff enough for flight.

"We'll key that to the image on this phone." He took an elegant modular unit from the bag and placed it in front of her. A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently from the top of the unit and immediately grew rigid. She had once watched a butterfly emerge into the world, and seen the transformation of its drying wings. "How is that done?" she asked, tentatively touching the screen. It was like thin steel.

"One of the new polycarbon variants," he said, "one of the Maas products . .

The phone purred discreetly He positioned it more carefully in front of her, stepped to the far side of the table, and said, "Your call. Remember, you are at home!" He reached forward and brushed a titanium-coated stud.

Alain's face and shoulders filled the little screen.

From Count Zero, by William Gibson.
Published by Arbor House in 1986
Additional resources -

Very thin screens are becoming a reality; however, the designs I've seen so far show the screen unfurling in a very pedestrian manner (rolling out like a window shade from an enclosed cylinder). Clients would not fail to be impressed by this phone, which could be used by more than one person (unlike the screens on current cell phones, which one person can barely see).

I'm wondering whether you could make a disposable screen of this kind, by analogy to "instant" photography. The film used in these cameras contains developer chemicals that are released when you eject the (all black) picture from the camera by squeezing it between rollers.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Count Zero
  More Ideas and Technology by William Gibson
  Tech news articles related to Count Zero
  Tech news articles related to works by William Gibson

Polycarbon Phone Screen-related news articles:
  - Philips Readius E-Reader With Rollable Display
  - Origami Cell Phone Concept
  - Butterfly Wing Phone Screen
  - Philips Readius E-Ink Video
  - Polymer Vision Readius With Merely Foldable Display
  - Readius Rollable Display Starts Mass Production
  - Readius Cell Phone 5-Inch Fold Out Display
  - Readius Polymer Vison E-Ink Video
  - Samsung Folding Screen Cell Phone Video
  - Self-Folding 'Origami Robot' Smart Sheet
  - Razer Project Valerie Laptop Unfurls
  - PaperPhone Uses Bend Gestures
  - SEL 3-Fold OLED 9 Inch Display Is Pocket-Sized!

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