Documenting the Coming Singularity

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Newspaper Industry Is Saved! (Or Not)

NYT - December 8, 2008, by Matt Richtel
(Credit: Flexible Display Center at Arizona State University)

Extra, Extra, Read All About It — on a Flexible, Unbreakable Display.

In this case, the news is the medium. Hewlett-Packard and Arizona State University, which is home to the Flexible Display Center, announced on Monday that they have come up with a prototype computer display that is made of plastic, but is “paper-like.”

The company and the research lab say the innovation will allow electronic displays to become easily portable and more energy-efficient. They say their lithography technology lets images appear on the displays without distortion despite rolling and bending.

H.P. doesn’t say when the technology could hit the mass market, but it says the displays could have a place in notebook computers, smart phones and other devices.

One wonders (especially one who works for a news organization) whether those devices might include a highly portable electronic newspaper — something that the industry has fantasized about for some time, and that might help stanch the loss of readers. Alas, the industry probably needs not just new displays, but modern business models. Maybe H.P.’s researchers can work on that next.

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