It is widely recognised that paper remains a pervasive resource for collaboration and yet there has been uncertain progress in developing technologies that aim to enhance paper documents with computational capabilities. In this article, we discuss the design of a technology that interweaves developments in hardware and materials, electronics and software, and seeks to create new affinities between digital content and paper. The design of the technology drew from findings from naturalistic studies of the uses of paper, particularly when considering how ‘users’ might ‘interact’ with the augmented technology. We briefly review these studies and discuss the results of an evaluation of the emerging technology. Analysis of the fine details of the conduct of participants in these assess- ments suggest how, even when we design simple forms of interaction with a device, these can be shaped and trans- formed by the participation and collaboration of others.