Big-Screen E-Readers and the Future of Newspapers

Interesting piece in the New York Times about larger e-readers and their potential for reading newspapers and magazines:

The screens, which are currently in the Kindle and Sony Reader, display no color or video and update images at a slower rate than traditional computer screens. That has some people in the magazine industry, in particular, keeping their hopes in check until E Ink evolves.

“I don’t think we would be anywhere near as excited about anything in black and white as we would about high-definition color,” said Tom Wallace, the editorial director of Condé Nast, publisher of glossy magazines like Vogue and Wired. “But technology changes at a pretty high clip these days, and if we are now in the Farmer Gray days, it will be only a very short while until we are in the video game era.”


  1. BTW, there’s a nice deconstruct of E-Ink’s hardware used in Esquire at gizmodo.

    I did research into E-Ink and other companies that have similar or competing technologies while at Fitch. It seems we’re really in the “Farmer Gray days”–everyone is either going the proprietary route or the cost of entry is extremely high right now.

  2. We talked about getting a kindle for our college library to show off some new reading technology and get people thinking about what kind of formats the library provides. Interestingly enough, many of our staff were anti-kindle and felt like it was not something that our students would use (or be impressed by). They also felt that most younger people will read text on their iphones, etc. or laptops rather than using another device. One staff member felt like the kindle was more popular for older people. Perhaps part of the issue is a perception that b&w display is outdated?

  3. I wonder how they would combat the image copyright issues for a kindle textbook branch too. Certainly color and quality played into the move to having images in databases like ArtFullText. It was always so annoying to see the text “Image So-and-so here, see reference in this other print book” My dad has a kindle 2 and my mom has a kindle 1, they’ve both embraced them pretty fully, but I remain unconvinced that they can produce good quality illustrations and reproductions to make it worthwhile for a textbook audience yet, particularly for art history or the medical profession. However, as soon as they do, I’ll be on the Kindle wagon also.

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