Plastic Logic unveils future of e-newspapers

Plastic Logic unveils more on the future of e-newspapers this week
Plastic Logic unveils more on the future of e-newspapers this week

You might be slightly peeved to hear that current-gen e-readers are already being superseded, if were one of the lucky few that bought themselves a new Sony eBook from Waterstones last week.

"The electronic newspaper, a large portable screen that is constantly updated with the latest news, has been a prop in science fiction for ages," reads a report in the New York Times.

"It also figures in the dreams of newspaper publishers struggling with rising production and delivery costs, lower circulation and decreased ad revenue from their paper product."

Plastic paper logic

Plastic Logic's new device, to be shown off at an emerging tech trade show in San Diego this week, has a screen around two and a half times the size of Amazon's current model Kindle e-reader.

Plastic Logic's new e-reader's screen measures an impressive 8.5 x 11in, is Wi-Fi compatible and capable of browsing docments in PDF, Word, Excel and Powerpoint. It's due for commericial release at some point in 2009.

Richard Archuleta, the chief executive of Plastic Logic, told the NY Times: "Even though we have positioned this for business documents, newspapers is what everyone asks for," Mr. Archuleta said.

TechRadar has contacted Plastic Logic for further info, so we should hear more on this soon…

US news industry backing

Kenneth A. Bronfin, president of Hearst Interactive Media (owner of 16 daily newspapers, including The Houston Chronicle, The San Antonio Express and The San Francisco Chronicle) added:

"We are hopeful that we will be able to distribute our newspaper content on a new generation of larger devices sometime next year."

While he would not say what device the company's papers would use, he said, "we have a very strong interest in e-newspapers. We're very anxious to get involved."

The New York Times is one of a few newspapers already available on Amazon's Kindle ($14 a month in the US), similar to the cost of other papers.

Michael Zimbalist, VP for research and development operations at The New York Times said: "We expect to experiment on all of these platforms. When devices start approximating the look and feel of a newspaper, we'll be there as well."

Adam Hartley