A nascent market just a few years ago, e-readers are turning into big business. As Cecilia Kang of the Washington Post reports:
A fifth of American adults have read an electronic version of a book in the last year, a trend that is fueling a renewed love of reading, according to a new survey.
The portion of e-book readers among all American adults has increased to 21 percent from 17 percent between December and February, due in large part to a boom in tablet and e-reader sales this past holiday season.
While Amazon’s Kindle and the newly announced e-Reader being released by Hearst are set to revolutionize journalism, getting users to carry around a bulky gadget may be a stumbling block. Now researchers at Arizona State University have come up with something that might solve that problem: a touch-screen flexible e-paper.
Here’s some video of the new flexible e-paper in action.
As newspapers across the country struggle to compete in an increasingly digital world, one media conglomerate is taking a radical step. Via Fortune:
Against a backdrop of plummeting ad revenue for newspapers and magazines, and rising costs for paper and delivery, Hearst Corp., is getting set to launch an electronic reader that it hopes can do for periodicals what Amazon’s Kindle is doing for books.
According to industry insiders, Hearst, which publishes magazines ranging from Cosmopolitan to Esquire and newspapers including the financially imperiled San Francisco Chronicle, has developed a wireless e-reader with a large-format screen suited to the reading and advertising requirements of newspapers and magazines. The device and underlying technology, which other publishers will be allowed to adapt, is likely to debut this year.
Whether regular newspaper readers are willing to abandon print in favor of gadgets remains to be seen, but given the fact that readership—when online readers are added in—is actually up for most media companies, Hearst’s gamble might just be the solution the industry needs.