Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Plastic Logic interface demo at the D7 Conference

The latest Plastic Logic demo was made to Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, with a live blogging of the WSJ's "D7" or "D: All Things Digital Conference."
  Although it was the first showing of the user interface, it didn't seem that different from last month's demos here and here, except that they say more definitely that they will have WiFi and cellular wireless capabilities although they don't say how these would be used.

  They explained they need to have some way of getting documents onto the device easily and that the unit will be business-oriented.  Books will be only a small portion of the use, according to CEO Richard Archuleta, and these will most likely be business-oriented books.

. An article here, on April 15, cited an editors weblog report which paraphrased a statement by the VP of Business Development, Daren Benzi:

      'Compared with a computer, one of the advantages of the device is that readers can focus entirely on consuming content, they will not be disturbed by emails, for example.'

      I found this a strange idea in this era of multi-tasking and fast-moving communications.

. That dovetails with an entry here on May 10 that cited an article in which Mark Glaser reports via notes he took during a journalism symposium;  the notes detail what the Senior Director of Content Development for Plastic Logic, Sarah Geata, said although they're not exact quotes.  The gist of her statements match what Benzi says above about the customer not being "disturbed by emails"

      "It will have WiFi, USB connection and a Bluetooth.  We support PDF, ePub and MS Office. We are targeting [the] business traveler, you can annotate documents on it... When plugged in, the device can upload email to it... [WiFi] will be built in.  Kindle set the standard making it transparent."  [The Kindle doesn't use WiFi though.]

      When asked if there would be a web browser, Geata's response was, per Glaser's notes:

      "Not right now. It's about not being interrupted. It's a reading device. There won't be email on this or a web browser ...

  There it is again, the 'no interruptions' explanation.

  I've read that Plastic Logic has had problems, in this economy, finding sufficient funding despite intriguing features, and I suspect that's more of a reason.  Adding e-mail and web browser capabilities would take more time and staff.

      Geata added that "people can shop for papers, subscriptions directly, without putting in a credit card. Why not web browsing? The technology works like an Etch-a-Sketch that has to be cleared each time, so having Flash running would be a bad experience. Eventually you'll get to video frame rate of 30 frames per second and can do web browsing. I think it will evolve over time."

  In the meantime, a Plastic Logic device focusing on the business traveler but having no e-mail or web-browser capabilities (except to download documents or upload them somewhere) will certainly mean they can charge less than if they actually emulated the 'transparent' Kindle model indicated above.  At the latest demo, the company was as evasive as ever about planned pricing saying that couldn't be discussed.

  In yesterday's demo, it was explained that color will take another year beyond the expected release of the device in January 2010.  It'll be interesting to see what Pixel Qi does by then.

  The unit has a touchscreen but no keyboard.  Kara asks yesterday about the lag time between pages, and the response is that it'll improve over time.

  Newspaper formats: these should go over better with publishers (ads possible) and some customers, as the layout is more similar to actual newspaper layout rather than the straight-text presentation by the Kindle.  In an earlier entry, the editors weblog reports:

' Benzi explained that although the first device will not access the internet, consumers might well be able to click on an advertisement for additional information on products or offers . . .

    Plastic Logic will be able to "track the information about what the customer is doing with the device," a system which would seem to offer benefits to both newspapers and advertisers.
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  1. Found this article trough twitter. Actually, email is quite disturbing when working. Tests have shown that every time outlook pops up when you're working, it steals approx 10 minutes of effective work-time. This is true even if it's just a small notice, since you'll get distracted.

    In a world where multi-tasking is the ideal, sometimes we start raising the ideal above what's sensible. After all, our brains don't work according to the ideals, such as multitasking, which we tend to glorify.

    sorry for my bad english, btw. @hanerlend

  2. @hanerlend,
    Your English is very good! I wish I could speak another language as well.

    Your point is good. Expectations in the workplace are another matter, but a dedicated reader will appeal to many who want to focus on content without distractions where that is possible these days.

    - Andrys

  3. This is very interesting topic.In my point of view such kind of blogging is really useful for the peoples. That's why the users can learn more and more form their online concoction.

  4. Your visual presentation about plastic card logic is excellant. Let me know that how you are providing your services to the online customers.


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