updated 01:15 pm EDT, Mon May 11, 2009
NY Times probes e-books
The New York Times is now deeply involved in investigating electronic concepts, says Harvard University's Nieman Journalism Lab. The newspaper's research and development group is exploring a variety of options in place of print, which is losing an increasing amount of money as subscribers cancel in favor of reading via the Internet. Among the key technologies for the R&D group is e-ink, as used in e-book readers from Amazon, Sony and others. Particular interest is being directed at flexible displays, which are said to have had "breakthroughs" in the past six months that could result in more pliable circuitboards.
The interest extends to Pixel Qi, which is producing a hybrid LCD/color e-ink display that should ship in November and may substantially improve the usefulness of netbooks and other devices as e-book readers, according to the Times. The newspaper has also been developing desktop applications based on touchscreen technology, which can display a layout in any set of dimensions and accept commands such as flicking to change pages. The eventual goal is to support offline reading, free not only of an Internet connection but the unnecessary components in web browsers.