Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Of e-books and digital paper (16)

Digital newspapers

As indicated before, digital newspapers vary from websites, PDF issues and files for electronic reading machines. New in the development of electronic newspapers is the combination of digital paper and the tablet.

It was the Royal Philips spin-off iRex Technologies which developed a tablet for electronic newspapers amongst other applications. The tablet is called the ER 0100 or the iLiad. The ER 0100 is a portable electronic device specifically for reading applications. Its stable, high-brightness display makes for excellent readability both indoors and outdoors. The 8.1-inch (diagonal) monochrome Electronic Paper display contains 1024 x 768 pixels and supports 16 levels of grey (160 dpi). There is a choice of five standard connectivity options for transferring data to the Electronic reader. The product can work with a USB stick, Compact Flash and Multi Media Card using slots on the top of the device. Connection to the Internet is possible via integrated WiFi or Ethernet cable. Connection to PC/laptop: via USB-cable.
The ER 0100 is a very low power mobile device, specifically designed for reading applications. The operating time of the rechargeable battery is more than a week without recharging, based on an average use of three hours reading a day.
The content can be stored in four different archives (e.g. My newspapers, My books). These archives can be quickly accessed using the archive buttons of the device. Advanced search functions are available to locate the required content quickly.
The touch screen facility and stylus makes text input and easy navigation possible as part of a very natural user interface.

Content formats supported: PDF; XHTML; TXT; APABI; OEB*; MP3*; Optional: Customization to support customer specific content format
Interfaces: USB type A connector for USB memory stick; CF type II slot for memory extension or other
Applications: MMC slot for MMC memory cards; 3.5mm stereo audio jack for headset; WIFI 802.11g wireless LAN; 10/100MB wired LAN.
System specifications: 400MHz INTEL X-Scale Processor; 128MB free internal FLASH memory for storing content, extendable via external slots; touch sensor input using stylus; rechargeable battery; travel hub included, connecting to wired LAN, power adapter and PC using USB.
Dimensions (wxhxd): 155x216x16 mm.
Weight: 390 grams.
Operating temperature: 0°C to 50°C.
Storage temperature: –20°C to 70°C.
(*: Will become on line available in coming months via iDS (remote update to all iLiads already in the market)

Beautiful technology with advances in readability and telecom. Will the newspaper world embrace the iLiad as a tool? The Belgium financial daily De Tijd took a real stance by starting an experiment in April 2006. Now iLiad is part of a worldwide experiment if the newspaper organisation IFRA with Italian newspapers, but also USA newspapers. Many other newspapers will play around with the iLiad. I personally wonder whether the developers of the iLiad have taken notice of the Kent Electronic Newspaper Tablet (KENT) Format of Roger Fidler, which blends the popular qualities of printed newspapers with the compelling interactive features of the Web in a reader- and advertising-friendly environment. Still, Roger must be excited to see see a product so close to his brain child of the electronic tablet.

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Blog Posting Number: 446

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