There's still hope for the traditional publishing industry. The old dog is learning new tricks that you can't expect some online upstart to copy.
A special edition of this week's 75th anniversary release of Esquire magazine comes with moving images on the front page and the inside cover. No, not the cheesy "wiggle the book to see pretty colors" trick that you find in plenty of children's books. We're talking about digital imaging here. Privately held parent company Hearst may be onto something.
A thin, flexible lattice of electronic circuits was hosed down with privately held E Ink's namesake product, making for a lightweight, low-power, flexible, black-and-white screen. It's the same technology you see in the Amazon
The front page display features blinking and changing text and simple images, reminiscent of the average Web page circa 1994. The inside spread is an ad for the new Ford
This feat took seven years of planning and research to pull off. The E Ink pages were manufactured by Chinese partner Nicobar, shipped to Esquire's printing presses in refrigerated trucks, and fed through RR Donnelly's
The rise of online information and entertainment has caused massive damage to the good ol' publishing boys. In the past five years, New York Times
These tricks won't be commonplace anytime soon, though. When they do go mainstream, the display technology might have moved to full-color light-emitting OLED displays. Universal Display
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Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Universal Display, but holds no position in any of the other companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like, and Foolish disclosure is awaiting the day when it can be digitally emblazoned across your wall, the side of your minivan, or the New York skyline.