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Old 11-11-2006, 09:00 AM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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The De Tijd-iLiad e-paper trial - has it been a failure?

These days ten Swedish families have had the chance to subscribe to their daily newspaper "Sundsvalls Tidning" via the iRex iLiad device. While you probably couldn't care less, you may remember that there's been a previous trial in Europe involving e-paper and the iLiad. Since April 2006, around 200 Belgians have been participating in a field test to download the Belgian financial newspaper "De Tijd" from the Internet and to read it on the iLiad. It has been very silent since the announcement, but today I found this interesting bit from Swedish online news The Local (emphasis mine):

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Despite some early teething pains, all testers remained on board for the duration of the project. A similar experiment in Belgium ended in tears: technical glitches led to 61 out of a total 65 testers returning their e-readers within two weeks.
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Carina Ihlstr÷m Ericsson, a leading researcher at Halmstad University, has conducted extensive interviews with all of the participants. She will be ready to present her evaluation of the project in the new year.

"From what we have heard, the e-reader is difficult to navigate and the technology still has its limitations. But all going well it should be possible to subscribe to a newspaper with the e-reader. It will maybe cost about the same as a normal subscription.

"Later, when the system becomes more developed, it will of course be possible to subscribe to several newspapers," Ihlstr÷m Eriksson told dagens Nyheter.
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Old 11-11-2006, 09:04 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic
It has been very silent since the announcement, ...
Probably they had to sign the infamous iRex NDA and were thus forced to remain in eternal silence.
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Old 11-11-2006, 09:08 PM   #3
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I always wondered why there was so little feedback from that Newspaper trial...

Somehow I can imagine 61 our od 65 readers returning the Iliad, especially if the majority of those readers weren't gadget freaks like us...
When they started that trial, the Software was a lot worse than it is now, and we still have enough to complain about...so i wouldn't be surprised...but I hope iRex will manage...
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Old 11-13-2006, 09:17 AM   #4
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Anybody has a history of these newspaper tryes? The older I can remember was from "El Periodico de Catalu~na" using a ARM based machine back in 1995. They did some tour in meetings about electronic press, and I guess such conferences have continued from 10 years now.
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Old 11-16-2006, 11:55 AM   #5
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The idea of e-newspapers seems to be a popular one, judging by the number of tests and testers. Such results indicate that the state and usability of the hardware dictates the workability of the program. That means more work into the design, ergonomics, and operability of the device, by some organization that knows how to optimize the user experience... a task engineers sometimes have trouble with (no comments, please!).

Anyway, judging by user comments, Sony's Reader is probably closer to the mark than the older readers, so it would probably be a better fit for such a program, but it also seems to have some reported usability issues. Maybe an outside company or industrial designer could give them a design hand, or maybe a company like Apple should give it a good shot.

Making the device intuitive and user-friendly is paramount. A reader optimized for newspaper delivery could sweep such a market.
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