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Articles in IEEE journals and conferences

Paper Four on Google Scholar




Due to popular demand we have made all our videos available for download at this page:

All available images can be found here:



ABC-boken pratar

–en riktig bok som låter.

När du trycker på bokstaven A, säger boken just ”A”. Paper Four vid Mittuniversitetet bjuder in till visning av en beröringskänslig, talande och världsunik ABC-bok. För några år sedan visade forskargruppen hur en interaktiv stortavla, med beröringskänsligt tryck/papper och ljud, kunde se ut och fungera. Nu avslutas det förlängda projektet med presentation av en bok baserad på likartad teknik. Framtidsvisionen för hybridmedier har utvecklats, förbättrats och framförallt krympt i format!

Paper Four är ett forskningsprojekt i Fiber Science and Communication Network (FSCN) vid Mittuniversitetet i Sundsvall. Under fem år har projektet undersökt och visat hur interaktivitet i och på papper kan se ut och fungera. Projektet har kombinerat forskning, försök och konstruktion. Med modern tryckteknik, design och funktionella bläck har gruppen försökt att närma sig ”The Talking Paper”.


–en interaktiv butiksdisplay med förpackningar

Välkommen att ta del av Raketsmör, prototyp två i forskningsprojektet Paper Four. Den första prototypen i form av en interaktiv stortavla presenterades 2007 och forskningsprojektet utvecklas nu till att gå från makro till mikronivå. Som ett andra steg i Paper Four presenteras därmed en interaktiv butiksdisplay och förpackningar.

Raketsmör är en ny typ av interaktiv förpackning och butiksdisplay som genom grafisk formgivning och design i kombination med elektronik, ljudeffekter och 2-dimensionella grafiska koder interagerar med kunden i butiksmiljö. Butiksdisplayen fungerar både på långt håll men också nära genom att människor interagerar med displayen och förpackningarna. På så vis kan kunden ta del av information om varumärket och produkterna, eventuella erbjudanden och tävlingar.

När du tar en förpackning från displaystället startas en ljudfil som spelar upp en raketnedräkning. Det är också möjligt att interagera med Raketsmör genom att beröra butiksdisplayens pappersskikt. Ytterligare en funktion som prototypen uppvisar är användningsområdet för 2-dimensionella koder på förpackningarna och display.

Butiksdisplayen består av dels ett pappersskikt, där vissa ytor har ett mönster som tryckts med elektriskt ledande bläck. De tryckta ytorna reagerar på beröring när en svag ström konstant leds genom bläcket. Principen bakom de beröringskänsliga ytorna är patenterad av den svenska papperstillverkaren SCA. Det andra lagret består av vanligt papper med vanligt tryck. När en person placerar handen på en beröringskänslig yta på displayen uppstår en elektrisk förändring som överförs via tryckta ledningsbanor till en microprocessor. Den innehåller logik, en processor och ett minne.

De tryckta 2-dimensionella koderna är läsbara med din mobiltelefon. Ladda ner aktuellt program till mobiltelefonen, fotografera av en 2-dimensionell kod med mobiltelefonkameran och mobiltelefonen surfar därefter automatiskt till den hemsida som är kopplad till koden. På så vis kan elektronisk information kopplas samman med tryckt information och därmed möjliggöra kommunikation mellan sändare och mottagare på förpackningar i butik, hemma eller på stan.

Starkt förenklat kan man påstå att den första generationens papper består av grafiskt papper, den andra av papperskvaliteter för förpackningar och den tredje av papper för hygienändamål. Den fjärde generationens papper, PaperFour, studeras inom en mångdisciplinär gruppering på Mittuniversitetet och FSCN i Sundsvall. PaperFour är samlingsnamnet på den satsning som Mittuniversitetet för närvarande genomför med sikte på att utveckla den fjärde generationens papper.

News: Paper IV visits Japan

The research group behind the project Paper IV at FSCN and Mid Sweden University are off to Japan for a seven day visit to Tokyo on November 6th. The group will visit a research university that involves electronics and graphic design as well as visiting several businesses within the field of package design. The visit is as a result of the attention brought to the project after the demonstration of the interactive display in may 2007. The demonstration has led to several visits by researchers and has gained much industrial interest from around the world from countries like Japan, China and Korea.
The visit is financed by Bo Rydins Stiftelse and is arranged by the Invest In Sweden Agency.

Pressinformation: PaperFour_pressinformation.pdf

An Acrobat PDF document describing thiese and other Paper Four projects:  Information_paper_four.pdf  Acrobat Reader version 5 or later needed.

Paperfour - touch sensitive printed surfaces

paperfour.jpgPaper Four is a research project at Fiber Science and Communications Network at Mid Sweden University, Sundsvall, Sweden. The project is a pilot in the framework of a research grant and so far non-commercial.

The touch sensitive printed surface is patented by SCA. The backbone material of our display is patented by Wellboard AB. The loudspeakers and the concept as such are parts of our work.

Watch the Paper Four video in mpeg-4 format   [.mp4]
Approx. 30 Mb, 1.34 min playing time, opens in new window.
To download; Mac users: Alt-click, Windows users: Right-click


Watch the Paper Four video directly, Flash player version 8 needed:


The project is funded by:
EU Objective 1, SCA R&D, Mid Sweden University and Wellboard AB.


We have been addressed with many questions and business proposals these last days. We did not foresee the massive interest.

We do hope this FAQ will help answering at least some of the most frequent questions:

Q: Where does the name ”Paper Four” come from?

R: In our way of thinking the first generation of pervasive paper products was graphics and printing paper, the second is paper used in packaging and the third is paper used in hygiene products. We are exploring what might be the fourth generation of pervasive paper usage. See:

Q: Compared with printed electronics, what's new with the Paper Four interactive paper?

R: We believe the concept as such is new. But the technology with touch sensitive electronic functional print is owned by SCA and as such not new. The wellboard material is owned by Wellboard AB and not that new. The loudspeakers consist of a membrane of aluminium on foil, which can be produced in a precision mill, roll-to-roll, easily and quite cheap.

We are trying to explore how and if paper can be connected to the digital world and its complexity of service solutions. We like the thought of paper connecting to the digital environment we are surrounded by. The paper is NOT the digital solution, we believe. But the paper might become the interface to existing digital devices.

Q: What kind of added values is the Display really bringing in a purely commercial setting?

R: Interactivity as such, seem to create a richer user experience. If a display, as ours, can generate a slightly more exciting user experience, at the point of sales in a shopping context, this might lead to new business opportunities.

According to interactivity can increase sales significantly.

Q: Can you use an ordinary printer to print the conductive ink?

R: Conductive inks can be applied on paper using specialized inkjet printers, ordinary screen printers or flexo printing machines.

Q: Can this technology be used in ordinary print as books and magazines?

R: We hope to be able to scale things down, but when it comes to books and ordinary print there are also a number of open questions. In our world, were paper as such is not necessarily digital, but able to interact with digital devices, new options might arise in for example the interplay between a mobile phone and print media.

Q: If the costs are comparatively low: could you explain why and compared to what?

R: We do not know that much about costs. Higher cost than the ordinary non-interactive shop display, but significantly lower than a fully electronic alternative, say a flat touch screen and a computer. It all depends on scale and the business model. We have presented a concept. Now it's up to commercial actors to take it on from there.

Q: Could you please explain the function of the printed loudspeakers?

R: Our loudspeakers are based on a pattern on a thin conductive film. We have tested both printing this pattern with conductive inks and creating the pattern by surface milling of thin aluminium foils. The efficiency of the loudspeakers depends on the Ohmic losses in the conductors. The loudspeakers provide better sound and volume in the roll-to-roll surface milled solution.

A strip of thin and small magnets is then attached to the foil. In the display, the now loudspeaker membrane, is then placed over a thin cavity in the wellboard. We have found 5 -15 mm cavity depth provides a broader frequency spectrum of the sound.

In the video you can hear the sound clips stored in the display electronics (a digital mp3 electronic box), but not via the display as such. The sound files are identical but not recorded from the display loudspeakers.

We believe the sound quality is good enough for promotion of music and other audio CD:s.

The sound files are stored in a digital mp3 electronic box, also supporting the display functionality.

Q: What is the next goal of your team concerning the interactive paper?

R: We will concentrate on down scaling the display to a format suitable for packaging and see what might come out of that.

Q: When do you think you will be able to integrate the whole electronic in one single piece of paper?

R: Good question. The question is when can we put all (display) functionalities on a single chip? This is probably to a large extent related to product volumes. From a technology point of view it is possible.

Q: Could you give a prediction: When will ”paper four” be ready for the market?

R: For Paper Four as the display the answer is now! The technology is in place. The rest is up to the business community. As for packaging solutions we probably need a single chip solution to reach realistic cost levels.

Q: Are there already any companies interested in it?

R: Yes!

Q: Do you think that interactive packaging will be the standard in future?

R: Yes!

Q: Could you tell me another university or company, which is developing interactive packaging as well?

R: Check these sites:

Note that interactivity on paper and with printing can be added to many ways. 2-D coding is very interesting.

Have a look at:

Q: Who can we contact at the associates companies?

  Paper Four:
  Wellboard AB:

Q: What artists are in the first display?

R: These are the featured artists:
(Artist - Album)
Emilia - Små Ord Av Kärlek
The Devil - Happy Lazerblood
The Confusions - 5 AM
Svenska Akademien - Gör Det Ändå
Marble - Marble
Jazzkamikaze - Travelling At The Speed of Sound

Q: Do you have any hi-resolution images available?

R: Have a look at: