As our society trends more and more toward disposable gadgets (like throwaway cell phones and disposable cameras), some people are thinking ahead to what else could be made for short-term use. Designer Je Sung Park’s disposable laptop concept takes the throwaway trend to a whole new level: one where a computer, a gadget storing some of our most personal data, becomes even more transitory than the cheapest, flimsiest laptops of today.
Park’s concept features a casing made entirely of recycled and recyclable paper materials. Replacement casing parts would be sold so that you can change out damaged pieces (if you keep your disposable laptop that long). The interior electronic bits and screen would, of course, still be made of plastics and metals, so they would need to be separated before you can recycle the paper casing.
While this concept is far, far from being produced, it brings up some good questions: how disposable are we going to go? How willing would we be to toss away something as personal as a computer? And what kind of market would a product like this have? It may be useful for travelers who don’t want to pack their own personal laptops, students who can’t afford a traditional laptop, or people who can settle for the (presumably) reduced power of a less expensive computer. With flexible screens and ultra-thin keyboards already available, it’s only a matter of time before the technology required for this product will actually be feasible.