PetaPixel

CES 2010: Day 2 Photo News – Skiff, E-Readers and the Re-birth of Publications?

There hasn’t been much directly photo-related news at CES 2010 today, but the announcements of newly redesigned e-readers might be key to drawing in a wider e-reader audience and — dare we speculate? — might bring some vigor back to traditional print publications.

While promising e-reader sale increases and recovering print publication’s mojo might be an optimistic goal, the recently revealed Skiff reader design is so innovative that it might just catch on.

Skiff reader content will be designed to look much like the designed content on a physical copy of a publication. Thus, newspapers and magazines can retain their carefully designed layouts, which conveys ranked importance, dominant headlines, featured artwork and photographs.

It may be a stretch, but Skiff could potentially bridge the gap between those readers reluctant to quit their physical newspaper and magazine subscriptions and those readers who only read e-versions of publications. However, print media will still technically die (or continue its current trend of rarity) … but the content (and subscriptions and ad revenue) could be more accurately transferred onto a new medium.

In the long run, publishers could potentially stop bleeding money on printing and distribution costs, while upping their circulation — that is, if Skiff finds favor amongst thus far critical e-consumers and outbids the efforts of Amazon and other e-reader distributors.

The Skiff e-reader is extremely flexible and thin, with a display size 9 inches by 11 inches, and a thickness of 0.268 inches, and weighs 17-9/16 ounces (498 grams) — that’s roughly the weight of four iPhones . It is made of silicon thin-film-transitors on a flexible stainless-steel substrate, which Skiff says makes the display is shatter-proof and crack-proof.

The device is 3G and WiFi enabled, has a USB 2.0 port, an internal memory of 4GB, a built in speaker, audio jack, an SDHC card slot, and a battery that lasts about a week before it needs to be recharged. Where does it fit all of that?

The color touchscreen display has resolution of 1200×1600 pixels at 174 ppi.

The Skiff e-reading service is set to launch with the Sprint 3G network this year.

Skiff has also partnered with the Hearst Corporation, the major news corporation that owns several newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle, and has interests in several other major news groups, magazines, and major newspapers. LG Display and Marvell also had a hand in Skiff development, so it appears to be off to a hot start by connections alone.

Read more about Skiff and other e-readers at CNN.


 
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  • http://ranger9.net/ Ranger 9

    This is the most appealing e-reader I've seen so far, but I still wouldn't buy it. Why not? It's OMTC: One More Thing to Carry.

    Nobody's going to want to carry something this big PLUS the electronic stuff we already carry — it's got to be able to REPLACE one or more of those other things. That means, ideally, it would be able to send and receive email, browse the web, make and receive phone calls, and display my photo portfolio, in addition to letting me read publications.

    And while the hardware might support all those extra functions, I suspect you could kiss the one-week-between-charges claim goodbye. That means you'd also need to carry around a charger.

    The other big issue is going to be content exclusivity: Nobody except gadget-freaks is going to risk buying Reader A and then have it turn out that the publications they really want are only available on Reader B.

    So in the long run, I suspect the only long-term result of this e-reader boomlet is going to be more polycarbonate in landfills — until somebody rethinks the whole concept a little harder.

  • http://thewandergirl.com/ Wandergirl

    Any info on supported file formats?

  • http://thewandergirl.com/ Wandergirl

    Any info on supported file formats?

  • http://rostinhosbonitos.blogspot.com rbonitos

    O que esperar do futuro?
    Beijos nossos.

  • http://www.live-adventurously.com/ Ridlon Kiphart

    “It may be a stretch, but Skiff could potentially bridge the gap between those readers reluctant to quit their physical newspaper and magazine subscriptions and those readers who only read e-versions of publications.”

    My feeling is that this isn't a stretch at all because I am “that reader” and while I would love the compactness of a Kindle will never fully ditch print for a B&W, tiny screen. There's something about that which compromises the experience of reading just about anything. This is something I would love to use as long as they can work out the content exclusivity thing so you don't end up buying a Beta Max.

  • JessicaLum

    I'm so glad there are still print aficionados out there. :) I'm a bit of an optimist (though not without lapses into pessimism) for print media/journalism.

  • JessicaLum

    I'm so glad there are still print aficionados out there. :) I'm a bit of an optimist (though not without lapses into pessimism) for print media/journalism.

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  • Fiorucci

    i ALSO AGREE THAT WE NEED TO KNOW MUCH MORE ABOUT THE CONTENT EXCLUSIVITY……..HOW IT WILL COMPARE WITH THE AMAZON KINDLE CONTENT AVAILABILITY FOR BOOK, NEWSPAPERS & MAGAZINES.

    DOES ANYONE HAVE AN IDEA WHEN RELEASE & PRICE IS TO BE ADVISED