It’s 2005. As traffic grinds to a halt you look with envy at the driver next to you. She’s reading the day’s headlines on a computer screen on her windshield. Not too safe, you think, but man, that’s cool.

Ghassan Jabbour, a professor of optical sciences at the University of Arizona, and fellow scientists are working with transparent plastic materials that will allow us to fold and roll up monitors. (The ability to fold and pocket your hard drive may come later.) The researchers are also looking at materials such as polyester and flexible stainless steel. Plastic seems particularly promising for monitors. After all, “if you want to put the monitor on your windshield you’ll also want to see the traffic,” says Jabbour.