— Mobile Technology
Skiff shows 11.5 inch 1200 x 1600 touchscreen electronic-paper reader
This week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, e-reading company Skiff is previewing its new electronic reader. At a quarter of an inch thick, the Skiff Reader is the thinnest device of its kind. Not everything about it is small, however; its 1200 x 1600 pixel, 11.5-inch screen is the largest and highest-resolution consumer e-reading display yet. Perhaps its biggest boast, however, is what that display is made of – Instead of rigid, fragile glass, the Skiff Reader’s display utilizes a thin, flexible sheet of stainless-steel foil. Developed by LG specifically for Skiff, the touchscreen foil-display promises an e-reader that will be much more durable than anything currently available.
In the US, connectivity will be provided through Sprint’s 3G wireless network, although the Skiff Reader will also work with WiFi. Users will be able to purchase periodicals, books and other reading materials from the online Skiff Store. Given that Skiff is owned by Hearst Corporation, a media giant in the truest sense of the word, there should be a lot to choose from.
Skiff has optimized its e-reader for newspapers and magazines, and has been working on ways of supporting the key design qualities of the publications it carries; things like layout, graphics and typography will retain their unique look on its screen, allowing the “personality” of the publication to show through. That, in turn, will hopefully attract advertisers and subscribers. By combining innovative technology with connectivity and advertising opportunities, Skiff is creating an ecosystem that is essential to the survival of its product. “Skiff’s goal is to connect publishers and marketers with consumers,” says Skiff president Gilbert Fuchsberg. "We will accomplish this by delivering engaging reading experiences that consumers will value, and a business model that respects publishers’ needs.”
The Skiff Reader should be available online, and through US Sprint dealers, later this year. There’s still no word on price. Even if you don’t buy the reader, Skiff is working on making its digital store and client software accessible to a variety of other devices, including smartphones.
About the Author
An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.
All articles by Ben Coxworth
Well done SKIFF and LG,no more pollution and energy making paper,distribution,pulping waste paper etc. I came up with a similar idea in 1986 (Magnetic ink has been around since the 1920s) my idea was a tube (venetian blind pull out style) kept on a docking base station at home or office,charged and uploaded with your mags.papers,books,post via remote servers.This tube fits under your arm while commuting (like a rolled up paper) on the subway-train-bus etc. Finally the materials and memory are available to realize the idea, I want one now!
Finally, the product from Hearst! I\'ve been looking forward to seeing this ever since I read that a newspaper company was developing an e-reader (probably here?). I thought that they, of all companies, would be able to create a product that would duplicate the joy of reading a newspaper. I\'m pleasantly surprised and looking forward to getting my hands on one.
I am just waiting for the colour versions. Currently, I subscribe to three or four magazines online. I download once per month and read them on my computer. They cost only a fraction of the same magazine in paper version, and they are ready to read when I\'m ready. I don\'t have to wait for them to be freighted. But they are in colour, and much of the attractiveness and utility of the mag is based on colour. If I had a portable device that I could read on a couch, at a table, on a bus, or wherever, I would be in heaven! And my daily paper in digital form? - bring it on!
Wow, so sleek and well-designed. Once colour e-paper comes out these things will be all the rage. I can even see them completely supplanting traditional printed media like magazines and newspaper. These industries better embrace the change or a lot of people will be out of a job.
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