Saturday, April 11, 2009

E-ink, that Esquire cover, and the future

First, notice the grayness of the E-Ink's output, at the right.   I ran across older articles on an interesting use of e-ink -- Esquire's Oct.'08 75th Anniversary issue used an e-ink cover, for which a special small battery was designed (6-figure investment) to fit inside the cover and run for 90 days, until after the magazine was sold.

  Make Magazine has some good photos and details (including links to high resolution photos) of the physical elements that went into that cover, including chips and 2  e-ink screens.

  Here's a video of that cover (click on "HD" at bottom-right of video for a better look -- a big investment for a small effect!, but definitely different and the jaded crowd commenting on Gizmodo and Flickr were impressed.  Esquire challenged the engineering-inclined to hack the cover.
There's also a video of it on newstands, blinking away :-)  Now I remember seeing it and wondering, briefly, what on earth that was.

Esquire has a page mapping out how this was all put together, distribution-wise, across the world, starting from its being, yes, "Made in China."

Why the cover?   Esquire explains: "...we created the special cover to demonstrate a revolutionary technology that will change the way we all read paper magazines in the years ahead."   The idea for the cover started 7 years ago when Esquire visited E Ink, a startup in Cambridge, Massachusetts, whose managing partner, the Nicobar Group, is in Shanghai.

The beginnings: as described in a piece written in 2002 and titled "The Next Gutenberg."   Joseph Jacobson (MIT), a founder of E Ink, called the new 'paper'  "Radio Paper" and the Esquire writer points out, "Because the type on the page is not pixels but, essentially, ink -- tiny chips of pigment on a layer of circuitry -- E Ink promises the best of both worlds: the visual appeal of ink on paper and the renewability of a computer screen"

Some of us have wondered how e-ink technology works.

  In addition to information on the linked page above, here's a video of the e-Ink process by the Museum of Science, Boston.  The movie requires Real Player.   How Stuff Works also has an article on how electronic ink works, and Jason Slater Technologies has a brief and less-technical article on it.

Even in a new Kindle world, there are competing technologies already challenging e-ink right now, and I'll probably include some of that too. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

Send to Kindle

(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
If interested, you can also follow my add'l blog-related news at Facebook and Twitter
Questions & feedback are welcome in the Comment areas (tho' spam is deleted). Thanks!

No comments:

Post a Comment

NOTE: TO AVOID SPAM being posted instantly, this blog uses the "DELAY" feature.

Am often away much of the day, and postings won't show up right away. Posts done to use referrer-links may never show up.

Usually, am online enough to release comments within a day though, so the hard-to-read match-text tests for commenting won't be needed this way.

Feedback and questions are welcome. Thanks for participating.

Technical Problems?
If you're having problems leaving a Comment, Google's blogger-help asks that you clear the '' cookies on your browser's Tools or Options menu bar and that will fix the Comment-box problems (until they have a permanent fix).

IF that doesn't work either, then UNcheck the "keep me signed in" box -- Google-help says that should allow your comment to post (it's a workaround to a current bug).
Apologies for the problems.

TIP: There's a size limit. If longer than 3500 characters or so, in a text editor, make two posts out of it.

[Valid RSS]