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Industry Insight

Inching Closer to a Ubiquitous Electronic Reading Platform

In the last few weeks,

By Bob Sacks
Published: September 18, 2009

In the last few weeks, I have published several articles in my daily newsletter about the increased use of innovative technologies and the synergies between printed magazines and digital tag-along inserts.

There have been stories of including real video advertising in a printed newsstand magazine, 3D advertising combining a digital Web cam and a printed magazine, and several other attention-grabbing dead tree/digital combinations.

What does it all mean? Are printed magazines finally capitulating and starting the voyage to a full electronic existence? No, that conclusion would be premature. There is long life yet in the printed word. But there are other things in the works that just might, in the next year or so, push publishers even further into the digital realm.

Just a few months from now the long-promised and anticipated Apple Tablet will hit the market. It will not be e-paper, but I believe that it will have a huge impact on the reading industry. The Tablet will be able to incorporate all the digital magazine formats currently in existence and tap into the digital book market as well. It will have all the bells and whistles of the iPod Touch but be large enough to offer a pleasant reading experience. And it will be instantly enriched with 250,000 Apple Apps, which is no small thing.

If that's not enough, ASUS, which created the first affordable netbooks, has announced a dual screen e-reader. The company intends to make it the world's cheapest e-book reader. This dual screen, color, touch screen puts us all one step closer to a comfortable, logical new reading platform.

We aren't there yet, but each day we inch closer and closer to the next ubiquitous electronic reading platform. There is no escaping this digital eventuality. It is my opinion that your career is contingent upon understanding these trends and developing the professional skills that will be necessary for success in the very near future. It doesn't matter that you are a publication printer, a web caster, writer, production expert or newsstand distributer, you must be aware of your surroundings and your eventual place the grand scheme of things. At the end of the day, it will be your ability to adapt to your environment that will empower you to make a living or not.


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