The BBC's national news talk programme, Today reports a Cambridge based tech company has cracked the e-newspaper, an innovatory newspaper made out of plastic heralding the future of newspapers.
The company Plastic Logic [video here] mooted the idea a while back and has de facto been in competition with the Tablet reported on viewmagazine.tv here.
I first came across both devices from an invitation to to speak at Knock Knock the Innovation Lab two years ago, where I met Plastic Logics's Vice President Business Development Simon Jones.
On our flight back to the UK we spoke some more. One of the issues, Simon said, was finding an affordable cost- effective price for producing the device, with the Far East being considered.
Plastic Logic's CEO Richard Archuleta announces on this video that the first commercial factory is running in Dresden, Germany.
So what effect will the e-newspaper have on the industry?
Pros for e-newspapers
That's the talk that will now split the industry, but there's no denying its benefits:
- Ability to download newpaper of choice - depending on what newspaper is part of their download service.
- Easy on the environment - if you see how many freebie newspapers on the subway/ tube are left behind the e-paper may have some currency.
The epaper will certainly grab headlines and lead to more end-of-days talk for newspapers.
It may well spawn a new industry of jobs, e.g. designing for a mobile screen in tabloid form and put pressure on existing ones.
To start off business's will simply take their existing product to the screens before behaviourists determine more suitable compositional layouts. Note, the trend of newspaper publishing to the web.
And what about its reception from consumers?
Perhaps at least for the mean time - it's a generation thing- the two will co-habit. Just as the Net and video is doing so with TV.
Philip Meyer's google stakes are about to go drive up again.