By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY, NSW: Bantex, the local distributor of the Paper Show digital flip chart, is optimistic the new product can prove profitable for retailers, despite the small margins.

Speaking to at yesterday’s media event, managing director Michael Stathakis reported that the Paper Show, which is manufactured by French company Oxford, was already being sold in a number of office utensils specialists, including Officeworks, and that more talks are taking place.

“We sell to people like Officeworks. Office National, Office Choice, Corporate Express, ASA, there’s a fair few,” said Stathakis. “We’re speaking to [the CE chains] – that’s the next phase – it’s going to be a slow process but I’m pretty confident that we’re going to get in.”

As for the viability of the product, Stathakis admitted that whilst this product does not carry huge margins for the retailers, there will be demand, and the volume will generate profit. Additionally, this product somewhat resembles a loss leader, in that after the initial hardware is purchased for RRP $349, consumers must return to purchase the unique writing paper (RRP $24) needed for the display system to work.

“In our products, in office products, there’s not really a deep recession. [These are] products we use every day, as long as people are working, people need to use stationary and office products,” said Stathakis.

The Paper Show Digital Flip Chart primarily involves a USB key, writing pen and an Oxford paper pad. Users plug in the USB key, which talks to the pen over Bluetooth. The pen will only work on the Oxford paper, which is set with millions of near-invisible dots to record the movement of the pen.

As you write on the paper, the same details will appear on your computer screen. Depending on what’s on your screen, you can write over charts, reports, graphs and plain text. This can then be projected for communal display.

Stathakis said that consumers were able to purchase the Paper Show and a Sony projector in a bundle pack. This is still a pilot collaboration, though he is hopeful this partnership will develop into a long term agreement.

“We have partnered with Sony and we’ve done a bundle with them. They came and saw us at CeBIT and we took it from there,” he said.