Yesterday Plastic Logic Corporation unveiled it's latest (and as yet unnamed) device: a big light-weight plastic screen version of an eNewspaper. Its light, portable and constantly updated. The device should be on the market early next year.
The screen is close to 81/2 x 11 inches and is continually updated by a wireless link (where wireless is available). Hundreds of pages can be stored to read at leisure for those who do not want to keep up to the minute.
The device is easy to read since it uses eInk technology. The is the same technology that is used for Bookeen's Cybook, the Sony PRC reader, Irex Illad and other eBook readers.
It will be fascinating to see which news organizations will be the first to implement. Hearst already distributes versions of it's paper on the Kindle. I have been wondering about that -- as a daily reader of the New York Times and Washington Post online, it would take a lot to convince me to buy an expensive device to view what I can now see for free. But evidently Kindle and Hearst believe there is a market out there and are pushing ahead.
The more I think about it the more I am able to relegate it to an Interesting idea and fun technology. But the real question for me is much more urgent: Do any of us need one more device?
I am the proud owner of a Cybook, an Irex Illiad, an eBookwise reader, a Palm, a Nokia based cell phone, a Blackberry, an ultra-mobile pc and 2 laptops. Do I really need one more thing to carry around? It has gotten to the point that when I travel I practically need a separate suitcase just to carry my cords, cradles and cables.
None of the above mentioned devices is close to ideal for eBook reading let alone eNewspaper. The eInk devices are nice but don't accommodate color and are not backlit. The Blackberry, cellphone and Palm work fine, but the screen is way small. The UMPC is heavy and overkill as are the laptops.
I find that the device I read from most often in my Palm. It is backlit, has beautiful color with a great touch screen, connects to the Internet from almost anywhere and has multiple useful programs and functions besides. I can even hook up to skype and use it as a phone. My only complaint is the size of the screen -- very small.
Makes me think that it is easy to get gadget blind and lose track of the real objective -- information!