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Old 07-21-2008, 02:20 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
The only thing that seems to say is that print is due to be replaced.
While, I find this a fascinating idea, I agree with Steve. The only valid point of this exercise would be that paper publishing is going the way of the Dodo.

I mean, what is the point of "printing" future periodicals with eInk displays? That defeats the whole purpose of reusable, portable book (or magazine) readers.

But I guess I would not be that surprised to see the traditional paper publishers taking the innovation of eInk displays and making just more landfill rubbish of it.

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Old 07-21-2008, 02:30 PM   #32
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No, the eInk display is simply the display. Think of it like the monitor on your computer: what it will do depends upon the display controller it is attached to.

The cost of eInk displays is pure semi-conductor electronics.

Semi-conductor manufacturing is a classic capital intensive business. There are huge up front costs to build the factory that makes the devices which must be amortized, and an allocated share of those costs is part of the price of each unit made. The more you make, the wider you can spread the cost, and the cheaper each unit can be. They will get cheaper as more are made, and the overhead can be amortized across a larger base of units.
Thank you for making my point for me so elgantly. You are right. It must be all about the electronics. So if they are making a simpler, lower-res display (not e-book quality), then they can probably get away with using less fancier electronics, thus the electronics being cheaper.

Of course, the 2nd half of your statement is simple economics and has nothing to do with electronics or semiconductors. Once the production volume goes up, the price will go down.

One day, I won't think about my monitor being an E Ink display. It will be.
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Old 07-21-2008, 02:53 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Donnageddon View Post
I mean, what is the point of "printing" future periodicals with eInk displays? That defeats the whole purpose of reusable, portable book (or magazine) readers.

But I guess I would not be that surprised to see the traditional paper publishers taking the innovation of eInk displays and making just more landfill rubbish of it.

well, this is just the beginning. for the moment, it's not feasible to replace periodicals with e-ink completely, and obviously there's no point in manufacturing periodicals with a new e-ink display embedded in them monthly. but i could imagine that someday a newsstand could also propose some kind of digital kiosk ; you would have your e-ink "magazine" (color display ? flexible ? larger screen ?) which you kept, and via bluetooth (or something) you could charge it with whatever magazine or newspaper you wanted. perhaps you could even do this from a distance, automatically as you walked past, if you were a subscriber. i read an article which described such a projection, i wish i could remember where i found it...

as i said, i think the key interest of this particular proposition is to open the way for better-suited, more elaborate uses in the near future.
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Old 07-21-2008, 03:55 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by chef View Post
Thank you for making my point for me so elgantly. You are right. It must be all about the electronics. So if they are making a simpler, lower-res display (not e-book quality), then they can probably get away with using less fancier electronics, thus the electronics being cheaper.
Reread what I said. Other things being equal, display resolution is about what the controller can do, not what the monitor can display. I have a 19" LCD display running in 1600x1200 resolution with 32 bit color. My older graphics card would do 1600x1200, but only supported 16 bit color at that resolution -- it didn't have enough onboard RAM.

The Sony Reader and the Amazon Kindle have different display capabilities. They use the same eInk screen. They don't use the same controller.

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Of course, the 2nd half of your statement is simple economics and has nothing to do with electronics or semiconductors. Once the production volume goes up, the price will go down.
No, it simply means the price can come down, because it costs less to make. Whether it will come down depends upon the device and the usage. The producer wants to charge the highest price the market will pay.

For mass market devices where the goal is to sell as many as possible and price will be an object, you want to ramp up to achieve economies of scale, lower the casts, and be able to charge less than your competition while still making money.

For a more niche market oriented product, where price is not a deciding factor, the manufacturer wants to reduce costs simply to have a higher margin. They will have no reason to cut the price.

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One day, I won't think about my monitor being an E Ink display. It will be.
Not till eInk supports color and a much faster refresh rate. Even if you could do it now, you wouldn't want to.

And even if you could do it now, why would you? The big advantage to eInk is low power consumption, allowing far longer use before you must change/recharge your batteries. For a desktop, you don't care: you're plugged into a wall wart. For a laptop, there are other factors that affect battery life besides the screen, and going eInk may not be a big enough win to justify it.
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Old 07-21-2008, 03:59 PM   #35
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IMHO
I wonder if the display can download future issues from the internet or something?
Er, how? There would need to be some sort of network connection built in as well.

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It seems to me to be just expensive vanity to have the display, unless they intend to use it somehow to sell future issues.
I suppose it is vanity. Esquire has been one of the forces defining magazine design over the years, and an assortment of folks involved are in the Art Director's Hall of Fame. They are coming up on their 75th anniversary, and want to do something that upholds their status as an innovator in magazine publishing.
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:05 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Donnageddon View Post
While, I find this a fascinating idea, I agree with Steve. The only valid point of this exercise would be that paper publishing is going the way of the Dodo.
I don't think so, and I don't think they think so.

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I mean, what is the point of "printing" future periodicals with eInk displays? That defeats the whole purpose of reusable, portable book (or magazine) readers.
If you are doing this at all, you don't care about reusable portable content viewers.

But to take the technology a step further, some magazines print regional editions with different covers. What if the cover can be selected at purchase time, and downloaded into the eInk device that is the magazine's cover?

Or even better, what if the technology advances to the point where moving displays can be embedded in the cover, instead of just static images?
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:08 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMcCunney View Post
If you are doing this at all, you don't care about reusable portable content viewers.

But to take the technology a step further, some magazines print regional editions with different covers. What if the cover can be selected at purchase time, and downloaded into the eInk device that is the magazine's cover?

Or even better, what if the technology advances to the point where moving displays can be embedded in the cover, instead of just static images?
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that would definitely be an interesting future application. it will already be the case here ; the display will flash, and if i recall correctly, the e-ink sponsor ad will also be animated. probably not much, but they wanted to convey the notion of something dynamic.
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:23 PM   #38
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... or if it were embedded with a network connection, you could click the authors byline picture and ask her a question.

I think I read about this in a Potter book somewhere...

To Ms. Pinwheel: I don't see how a Kiosk would make much sense, if the edition where already available online everywhere.
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:27 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Donnageddon View Post
... or if it were embedded with a network connection, you could click the authors byline picture and ask her a question.

I think I read about this in a Potter book somewhere...

To Ms. Pinwheel: I don't see how a Kiosk would make much sense, if the edition where already available online everywhere.
well, i was thinking of a kiosk with some sort of online connection, in case you were not near a computer (or, say, your home internet was not working... that also can happen, sadly), or maybe if you wanted to browse around while waiting for an appointment (or a plane, in an airport...), or whathaveyou. however i haven't spent that much time thinking it through, i was mostly just remembering the article i read some time ago. but yes, obviously, logically it would be possible to get it online as well.
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:31 PM   #40
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Some readers do not need a computer, or home internet. And the Kindle does not even require wifi ( but the evdo network is limited).

I could see some potential for Kiosks, but for most it would just be more overhead cost.
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:46 PM   #41
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Some readers do not need a computer, or home internet.
Those are called paper books.
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Old 07-21-2008, 05:13 PM   #42
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I tried feeding a paper book into my reader... it was unpleasant and messy.

Kinda like feeding a panda into a woodchipper! (where is that panda being fed to a woodchipper emoticon when you need it?)
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Old 07-21-2008, 11:00 PM   #43
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The article points out that the image will only last for about 90 (until the battery runs out). However, this isn't exactly true. The first time my Kindle's battery died (depleted) I was stuck with screensaver image on the screen. Even when I turned the Kindle off and removed the battery the image was still on the screen. So an image will continue to last, but it won't be replaced with new images.

I'm buying a couple; I will be hacking!
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Old 07-22-2008, 03:49 AM   #44
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First Esquire had to make a six-figure investment to hire an engineer in China to develop a battery small enough to be inserted in the magazine cover. The batteries and the display case are manufactured and put together in China. They are shipped to Texas and on to Mexico, where the device is inserted by hand into each magazine. The issues will then be shipped via trucks, which will be refrigerated to preserve the batteries, to the magazine’s distributor in Glazer, Ky.
I thought one of the benefits of e-ink tech would be its relatively benign environmental impact (compared to pbook/pmag production and distribution).

But, if this sort of thing catches on, it could end up making things worse .
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Old 07-22-2008, 07:15 AM   #45
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I thought one of the benefits of e-ink tech would be its relatively benign environmental impact (compared to pbook/pmag production and distribution).

But, if this sort of thing catches on, it could end up making things worse .
yes, we have to hope that no-one sees this as the ideal end application for e-ink in the media, but rather that this is just a way to make the general public more aware, with better-adapted solutions in the (near) future.
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