by: Ilya Vedrashko
Today must be like that October day in 1994 when the first web banner appeared on a web page and everyone was excited about it without fully realizing what it all meant. The small blinking insert on Esquire's cover is just like that -- kind of simplistic and not at all scary. But you just wait.
During my lunch break today, I ran out to Borders to pick up a copy of the October issue of Esquire that came out with an e-ink insert on its cover. Boston Globe wrote about the upcoming e-ink issue a couple of weeks ago. Today, the story is all over the web. Wired says its a flop. I say sour grapes, even though, yes, the creative execution is a bit underwhelming. The cover and the ad are controlled by one circuit and run on six batteries that are supposed to last 6-8 months.
As you'll see in the video, the e-ink screens are pretty thin, fairly high-contrast and bend well.
Besides "the world's first e-ink cover", Esquire also sports what must be one of the first e-ink ads, for Ford Flex. Production costs for the e-ink insert are reportedly $8-$10 per cover.
Coincidentally, Plastic Logic today revealed its e-reader with the 8.5 x 11-inch form factor targeted at business users.