A little over a year ago, I wrote that newspapers are one of my least favorite forms of media. To reiterate:
I hate almost everything about newspapers. I don’t like the size of the paper. I don’t like the way it makes everything black. I don’t like that every page has to be jammed full of stuff. I don’t like that the pages are not full color. I don’t like that once I find something interesting, I can’t do anything with it (like send it to a friend, or blog about it with a link, etc).
These things hold true today. So what has changed in the last year? A few things. The “magazine-newspaper” called Dose launched in some of Canada’s larger cities, and I have to admit that I like it better than a typical newspaper, probably because of the size of the pages and how they open like a book, rather than being folded horizontally. There’s lots of color and non-standard layouts too.
More interesting than that however, is that newspapers of the future, such as the one seen in “Minority Report”, are coming sooner than previously expected:
In the Tom Cruise sci-fi thriller “Minority Report,” a subway passenger scans an issue of USA Today that is a plastic video screen, thin, foldable and wireless, with constantly changing text.
The scene is no longer science fiction.
The so called “e-paper” technology is finally beginning to mature, making it feasible to employ for products like newspapers. Despite the recent advances, there is still a long way to go – there is no standard (not that we need one I guess) which means some e-paper is flexible and some is rigid, some can display full color and some cannot, some require a power source and some do not. I think it’s only a matter of time before the details are worked out however.
I eagerly await digital newspapers, and the editors of today’s publications should be excited too! The newspaper could once again be as “up-to-the-second” as TV stations, and the potential for advertising is immense – think Google AdSense, but in your dynamically updating newspaper. Digital newspapers would be better for the environment too! Let’s hope the technology advances and costs decline so that the digital newspaper will be a reality.
Read: CNET News.com