Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Quick Route To Making E-Ink Readers Useful In The Workplace

Plastic Logic's E-Newspaper

You know, I was just reading the press release announcement of the only E-Paper reader I so far actually like the looks and size of, and I suddenly had this thought after watching the video:

If we really want this reader to quickly replace printed paper, it should come with a paired wireless dongle you plug into any USB port, and identifies the reader as a printer. Not a hard disk. Not some new viewer. A postscript or PDF printer. Easiest way to get your proofs, your in-between versions, your test lay-outs, your read-on-the-plane documents on it. Our whole infrastructure is built for printing documents, every program and operating system can do it, and it needs to be done so often in actual business environments it has been engineered to be (when it works) to be almost foolproof and mindless. Everyone has been trained in printing, and understands it.

Sure the reader should be able to get data like books and newspapers or other documents some other way, preferably as easy and secure and reliable as the Kindle does now. But to really fulfill the promise of cutting down on paper and paper costs, the quick route is to embed this thing in the printing chain, and easily so on every computer. When you walk into someone's cube and you see something, you just plug in the dongle, your personal reader gets added to the OS as a printer, print, unload and unplug, done.