Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
September 29, 200811:56 PM

Reading The Future - Paper or Plastic?

Many people fear that print is dying. The statistics don't help the situation and the new technology looks promising.

Did you happen to see the issue of Esquire Magazine featuring electronic ink? It looked more like a tiny led display, than electronic ink, and while it came off as impressive on YouTube demos, in person you could feel where they were packing the technology on the page and the whole thing just seemed a little "too much, too soon." We've seen this with technology before: the idea is solid, the public is ready for it, but the technology just isn't ready for prime time. Cost, production and execution are still in their primitive form.

When it comes to reading books, things have moved along quite nicely this past year. There's still hype over the Sony Reader Digital Book, and who wouldn't want to get their grubby little hands on the Amazon Kindle? Both look great and could well give reading new legs.

At Demo 2008, a company called, Plastic Logic, demoed their latest digital reader that is specifically geared for business reading. If you thought you were confused over going Kindle or Sony, watch this video:

The power of technology is its ability to inspire. That video demo is inspiring. Whether or not Plastic Logic comes out on top of the digital reading pile remains to be seen, but you can rest assured that a demo like that will inspire many other companies to look at new ways to use this kind of technology. 

Do you love going into bookstores and browsing as much as I do? The sad thing is, I used to feel the same way about music stores. Now, I could not be bothered to go into those. Let's be hopeful that the addition of digital readers will be a "with" not "instead of" model in the future of publishing and bookstores.

In the meantime, what do you think?... how are you going to read in the future?

(hat tip: Andy Nulman - Pow! Right Between The Eyes).

By Mitch Joel