Newspapers Delivered Via E-Ink Are Moving Into Real-World Test Phase
Here's the best piece we've seen on the status of what the newspaper industry once regarded as the holy grail--technology that allows constantly updated stories to scroll across plastic screens thin and pliable enough to be rolled up and stuffed into a pocket. The advent of the Web has put somewhat of a damper on enthusiasm for these digital-ink papers of the future--after all, the widespread deployment of broadband has made access to news stories fairly easy these days-- but development of the intriguing technology continues nevertheless. The International Herald Tribune describes the various trials that are just now getting under way with various newspapers around the globe, beginning this month with a financial paper in Belgium. Says the IHT: "For publishers confronting declining newspaper circulation in most parts of the world, the devices offer the tantalizing promise of reaching more readers, sparing some forests and saving on printing and distribution costs. But after some highly publicized e-book machines failed to take off in the late 1990s, those long-held hopes have remained elusive. The difference this time, developers and supporters say, is that the screens on the new hardware are designed to reflect rather than transmit light, making them more like paper, readable in sunlight or a dark subway train." This story also describes the challenges faced by companies that may someday want to advertise on these new devices. Advertisers may have some unusual opportunities too.For example, different ads can run during various dayparts, which can help with demo targeting.