Esquire magazine thinks that the 21st century begins in September, thanks to E-Ink

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esquire_jun_08_cover.jpgDespite what the header may imply, E-Ink is not a mind-altering narcotic (although I’ve personally never tried drinking the contents of a Sony Reader). E-Ink is in fact an amazing new-ish type of electronic paper that could revolutionise the way we think about books and magazines. You can already see its extremely impressive abilities in the aforementioned Sony device, as well as its rival, the Amazon Kindle. This does not explain the appalling time keeping at Esquire though.

The real reason why the men’s magazine has decided to declare the beginning of the 21st century in September, several years and nine months late, is because it is going to be the first magazine ever to use E-Ink tech on its covers.

In celebration, the E-Ink message will read “The 21st Century Begins Now”, which is pretty wasteful – everyone knows that ‘Top 100 hundred sexiest women’ is scientifically proven to be the best selling magazine cover.

Ford is paying the bill for this revolutionary system, which will be inserted into 100,000 copies of the mag. A proper Ford advert will appear on the inside cover, also in E-Ink.

Despite pioneering this revolutionary printing method, Esquire is actually using a rather rudimentary application of it; the font-page displays have to be assembled by hand and the battery powering it will run out in 90 days (still, that’s not bad, considering). The magazines must also be transported by refrigerated transport, which is pretty impractical.

Esquire’s editor in chief, David Granger said of the new cover, “The possibilities of print have just begun. In two years, I hope this looks like cellphones did in 1982, or car phones.” E-Ink also counts Esquire’s parent company, Hearst, as a major investor, so if this experiment proves successful, Esquire could be the first publication to turn old media into new media. Or is that new new media?

Esquire (via The Inquirer)

Related posts: An E-Ink watch | Hands on with an E-Ink phone

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