Newspaper e-reader launched
Evolution of the printed word?
Forget reading novels on your e-book viewer, because the first e-reader supposedly optimised for newspaper and magazine content has been unveiled.
Skiff is optimised for reading newspapers and magazines on
The Skiff Reader has an 11.5in touchscreen with 1200 x 1600 resolution, allowing users to interact with newspapers, magazines, e-books and other digital content – such as personal and work documents.
The device, which weighs in at just over 450 grams, is – according to manufacturer Skiff – the first consumer product to feature a “next-generation…e-paper display” based on a “non-glass” thin and flexible sheet of stainless steel foil.
You won't actually be able to bend Skiff by very much becuase the flexible screen is encased within a rigid shell. But the manufacturer at least hinted that the device’s screen – based on technology developed by LG – should prove more resilient than the “fragile glass” screens found on most e-book viewers, such as Amazon’s Kindle.
Next-gen e-paper display technology lets Skiff's screen flex
In North America Skiff has signed an agreement with network provider Sprint to bring 3G connectivity to the device, allowing users to download newspapers, magazines, books, blogs and more from a dedicated online store.
Skiff supports Wi-Fi connections
A UK launch date or price for Skiff hasn’t been confirmed, though the device will be available both online and in more than 1000 Sprint retail stores across North America from later this year.
Newspaper is almost dead - could be a way to resurrect them!
The newspaper industry is almost dead, it seems. They are consolidating into larger entities that have declining readership.
What they have not figured out - there is a reason why papers have different readership... it is because of the content. Consolidating the different papers into a unified paper, to save costs, wind up alienating the readership.
If newspapers could find a way to distribute the content, without the printing & distribution costs, this could keep them from having to consolidate and lose readership... especially if they can see some reoccurring revenue from it. These readers may be the trick.
Of course, someone astutely suggested that a laptop is the answer. I think that is the answer now, since they are much more portable than an old PC. It is still inconvenient to pick up off of a chair, plug it in, boot it up, supply a password, deal with virus software, software upgrades, crashes, etc. A laptop is just a nightmare, in comparison to an embedded system.
A flat machine the same form factor (and weight) of a book is really what is needed - something you can easily turn on and off (proximity sensor, like an iPhone while on a call?) An inductive pad to charge through would be perfect. No connectors.
Let's see if they do it right.
Where I live
In Madrid, an English newspaper, like the Mirror, Sun, Daily Mail etc. costs you close to 10€ a day, plus you have to go well out of your way to find it. You don't even want to know what it costs to get a monthly magazine here in English!
If it could show colour pictures, and especially if I could keep and re-read the copies of monthly subscription magazines, I'd have one in a shot!
How many years of newspapers could I buy for the price?
And - of course - it folds up to go in your jacket pocket...?? For the time being at least, surely a solution to a problem that doesn't exist...
gimmicky stepping-stone towards something useful
• I don't particularly want to bend things that much, and I certainly don't want to risk breaking them. Folding is what makes newspapers convenient. Bending is an inconvenient side-effect. Silly gimmick.
• How much of a variety of digital content will be regularly produced in formats this works well with? Because I don't want to read A4+ sheets of plain text. That would be tiresome and difficult. Step backward in versatility of medium.
• Too big to dissimulate unobtrusively while probably not being useful for more than an hour a day for most people. Not good for travel. Step backward in portability.
After a hundred such gimmicky little iterations in the world of ereaders hopefully we can get chromatic e-ink on a foldable (hinged) screen device that's thin enough to transport with touchscreen and internal gubbins powerful enough to run a proper variety of applications.
Get me out of cryostasis when we can get coloured ink touch screen tablet PCs with decent processing and open OS.
one hand? ...
... please explain