Friday, October 14, 2005

e-paper recycled

I've written a few posts which touch on e-paper. In none of them did I talk about the magazine, book, or newspaper industry switching from regular paper to e-paper to add new-fangled features to their publications. Why? Because I don't think they should be printing on anything any longer; on a mass-scale that is.

However, when I read about e-paper, people always seem to be talking about printing newspapers and magazines on this new medium. I suppose the established paper companies are concerned about going the way of the dodo, and are locking away certain ideas. Even Siemens, in the blurb accompanying their new wafer-thin display product, fails to mention any breathtaking applications.

The vision should be this: I buy a "container" for my content. The container is an e-paper product, designed to look like a book, a magazine, or a newspaper. Content is wired or beamed into the container via some mechanism from the publisher. When I buy content, I own it forever, and can reload it at any time.

Wired could sell a sturdy e-paper container for its issues. It has the same dimensions, the same look-and-feel of a Wired magazine, yet it can be uploaded with the current issue, any back-issue, a composite of issues based on a tag search, etc. For the amount of money they'd save on printing costs, they could give it away.

Each publishing company could sell these containers. I wouldn't mind owning a ton of 'em: one for Wired; one for your standard-sized magazine; one for the tiny Reader's Digest-sized magazines; a paperback novel-sized one; a newspaper-sized one; a comic book-sized one; the list goes on, and on, and on...

No comments: