by Mike Masnick
Mon, Sep 8th 2008 4:55pm
News of Esquire's October magazine cover using eInk was released earlier in the summer, but the magazine has now hit the stands. The cover of the magazine has a 10 square inch screen that flashes a series of images, interspersed with "The 21st Century Begins Now." The magazine also has some more of the screens inside for advertisers to use. It's likely that this magazine will sell an awful lot of copies (I'm going to try to pick up one if I get the chance), but the real question is whether or not this is just a gimmick, or it really has some potential for magazines. It certainly can't be particularly cheap to get these e-ink screens in every magazine, so it hardly seems like a reasonable short-term solution for the magazine industry. But are more interactive magazines a possibility in the future -- or will it come from the other direction, where people will simply download "magazines" to devices like the Kindle, which uses similar technology for the screen? While I'm still not sold on ebook readers, it seems more likely that we're heading to a future where the magazine resides in the device, rather than the device residing in the magazine.
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