Researchers from the Carnegie Mellon University developed a type of paper that could make digitize writing less expensive.

Because digitizers like the Wacom Tablet are costly, a group of researchers came up with a way to make digitize writing and drawing more affordable. That is, they put conductive material on the back of regular paper.

The simple yet effective design allows the paper to be interacted with in different ways, including writing on it with a stylus or just jabbing at it with a finger. The researchers reportedly used an inexpensive conductive material suitable in the event of high-volume production.

During the material selection process, numerous materials were eliminated because of high costs, scalability issues, and weak paper interaction. However, the researchers were able to find two, a carbon-loaded plastic sheet that can be attached to the paper and a carbon-loaded paint that can be silk-screened, sprayed on or brushed.

The paper’s design is said to cost only around $0.30 USD per sheet. However, the researchers noted that it could still be reduced should it be produced in large-scale.

“We believe this illuminates one possible approach for achieving low-cost, interactive, paper-based experiences in the future,” the researchers said, citing that more work has to be done to improve their innovation.

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