Electronic Ink – what does the future hold?

Good day everyone.

Although this blog tries to focus mostly on PressDisplay, occasionally one of us will read something “newsworthy” that especially attracts our attention, and on which we’d like to get your thoughts.

On Dec 13, John Dodge, Editor-in-Chief of Design News, wrote an article called “Electronic Ink puts indelible stamp on newspapers“, where he raises the question of whether e-ink could be the magic bullet that reverses the nationwide newspaper slide.  He suggests that electronic ink could be to newspapers and books what ipods are to music and videos.

There is no question that e-ink is a very interesting technology.  I don’t know if you remember, but in 2002, Stephen Spielberg introduced movie goers to e-ink in his sci-fi thriller, “Minority Report”, where a man on the metro reads a “live” plastic electronic issue of USA TODAY, where stories change on the fly as the news changes. It was so cool.  

But that was 4 years ago and a lot has changed since then.  The sophistication of handheld devices has reached a level where one begins to wonder whether specialized devices like an e-ink newspaper or even an iPod will still have a market.  With Nokia and Motorola, through their mobile phones, now the world’s leading producers of cameras, isn’t the writing on the wall for a single use device? The trend is clearly accelerating towards multi-functional mobile devices – a “Swiss Army Knife” of communications.  Therefore where does e-ink fit in to this future (if at all…)?

In the January 2007 issue of Newspaper and Technology magazine, NewspaperDirect’s VP of Busines Development, Alex Gruntsev, will share some thought-provoking views on the future of e-ink.  I encourage you to read it (I’ll post a quick link to it when it’s published) and then tell me what YOU think.