The presentation of information, whether visual or textual, is always undergoing transition to meet the demands of human consumers and the potential of new technology. Dominate forms of presentation, up until recently, are print and video. New on the scene is digital presentation, which shares characteristics of both print and video, but possesses a technological potential vastly greater. Problem is, the means for presenting information digitally doesn’t necessarily mesh well with either print or video. For digital presentation a new paradigm is needed--something that takes advantage of the strengths of all three delivery methods.
Bonnier R&D, which is affiliated with Popular Science, and the design firm BERG are collaborating on a new paradigm for the humble magazine, something they’ve dubbed the “Mag+”. The Mag+ retains the visual qualities of a glossy, color magazine, while adding a new way of accessing and consuming content. For example, articles run in ‘scrolls’, rather than pages, and are placed side-by-side (called a “mountain range”), letting readers ‘swipe’ their way through content. Basic hyperlink technology is included, referred to as ‘heating up’ words and pictures, allowing access to the web for additional information.
In deference to expectations, the Mag+ strives to retain the ‘look-and-feel’ of a magazine, including content access and delivery in issues.
Bonnier R&D says the Mag+ concept “...uses the power of digital media to create a rich and meaningful experience, while maintaining the relaxed and curated features of printed magazines. It has been designed for a world in which interactivity, abundant information and unlimited options could be perceived as intrusive and overwhelming.” They also acknowledge there is much more to be learned about the digital reading experience.
Most of use remember Packard Bell as a manufacturer of craptastic PCs from over a decade ago before the company packed its bags and headed off to Europe. Believe it or not, the company is still around (now owned by Acer), and according to the latest tech chatter, Packard Bell plans to poke its head into the e-book hardware market with a color e-book reader.
There aren't many details to go on at this point, other than it will sport a color display and is slated to ship in September 2010. The company also plans to start selling content, such as movies, music, e-books, and the like.
But that's not all Packard Bell plans to push through its manufacturing pipeline. The company is also apparently working on an 11.6-inch convertible netbook that will arrive in February. Details on this one also remain sparse, but from what we were able to dig up, the upcoming netbook will feature a rotating display and turn into a tablet with multitouch support.
Pocket-lint is reporting that Dell is readying a tablet device for unveiling at January’s CES in Las Vegas. Pocket-lint says “details so far are thin,” but according to “multiple back ops sources” the device will have a 5-inch screen and run on the Android OS.
Dell’s only comment: “Dell continually develops and tests new products that extend the mobile experience. We have not made any product announcements and do not comment on speculation, rumor, or unannounced products.”
Who isn't working on a handheld tablet these days? A week ago you could have said Asus, but if you said that today, you'd be wrong. Maybe.
According to the latest rumor, Asus is preparing to launch its own tablet under its Eee line, which it will call the Eee Pad. There isn't a whole of details to share at this point, but it looks as though the device will come with a 4 to 7 inch panel and offer a combination of tablet PC and MID functions, or at least that's what industry sources are saying. The same sources say Asus' Eee Pad is largely inspired by the rumors of Apple's planned tablet.
Print publications have really been taking it on the chin as of late, but Time Inc thinks they have just the idea to pull profits out of their current slump. The publisher of such magazines as Sports Illustrated, and Entertainment Weekly is working on an electronic magazine format for tablets. The goal is to make the experience fluid and practical enough that people might actually want to buy it.
The demo appears to take advantage of the tablet form factor. Stories are shown in full screen, and extra materials, like video or slideshows, can be integrated with the main story. There also appears to be some gesture support for flipping through virtual pages. All the content can be updated in real time if the device has an internet connection.
It seems obvious that this format is poised to take advantage of a possible upcoming Apple Tablet. All that remains is for that product (or others like it) to actually exist in significant numbers.Assuming you owned some sort of tablet, would you be interested in this sort of magazine format?
Whoever is the first to market with a next-gen handheld tablet will have accomplished what's becoming a tremendous feat: shipping the freaking thing. Michael Arrington insists that his CrunchPad hasn't entered the realm of vaporware, and Apple still continues to deny the existence of its own tablet, which the most recent rumor says will ship sometime in the second half of 2010.
And then there's the Archos 9 PC Tablet, which went up for order on October 22nd, but is still a few weeks away from shipping, SlashGear reports. If you plan on picking one up at retail, expect to wait even longer. According to Archos, the 8.9-inch Windows 7 UMPC won't arrive in stores until sometime in the first quarter of 2010.
Archos didn't say what's causing the delay, and it will be interesting to see how the pushed-back launch affects sales. By the time the tablet ships, Intel will be churning out next-gen Atom chips, making the Archos' 1.1GHz Atom Z515 even more unappealing.
The tech talk for much of the year has centered around upcoming tablets from Apple, Microsoft, and TechCrunch co-founder Michael Arrington, but to date, not one of them has come through. Will we ever see a next-gen tablet from one of these three? We certainly will, says Arrington, who insists that his CrunchPad tablet is "streamrolling along."
Arrington added that the upcoming CrunchPad will sell for between $300 and $400. It will sport a 12-inch touchscreen and come equipped with an Intel Atom processor (what else?).
Even though Arrington is adamant about an imminent release, some journalists wonder if the expected price tag won't render the CrunchPad irrelevant from day 1.
"While the project apparently isn't dead, I do still think there's a chance it will be DOA. For $300 to $400 I don't really see why anyone would buy a dedicated Web device instead of a fully functional computer," wrote Brad of Liliputing. "By the time the CrunchPad is available, you might even be able to pick up a touchscreen tablet style netbook in the $00 range. You can already get the Eee PC T91/T91MT for around $500 to $550."
Arrington did say he's exploring ways to cut back production costs, some of which include negotiating soft revenue and sponsorship opportunities.
The site also claims to have been tipped about some of the tablet's specs. According to Engadget's "credible" sources, the tablet currently runs Windows CE and features a resistive touchscreen. It went on to add that an Android-based variant, also featuring a capacitive touchscreen, is in the works. Apparently, the plan is to have the tablet ready for a March 2010 launch. The site even named T-Mobile as a likely carrier.
While giving a speech at the American University of Dubai, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang held nothing back in declaring his affection for Macs (while taking a dig at Intel in the process).
"Apple uses the best technology for their [computers]," Huang said. "Apple says to their customers: 'If you buy a computer from us, you can be sure we have selected the best technology inside for you.' Their promise to consumers isn't 'we've selected the best technology for you with the exception of what Intel allows us to use'. And that's why I'm all Apple! At home it's just Macs everywhere. It's Nvidia's technology in all of them but I use Macs. My son has two Macs, my daughter has a Mac, there's an extra Mac just in case, and my wife has a Mac. It's just Mac, Mac, Mac!"
Call us crazy, but we get th feeling Huang likes Macs. And that's well and good, so long as Nvidia keeps churning out high-powered videocards for those of us content to be controlled by Intel on the Windows-based PC platform.
On a side note, there's been a bit of buzz over the slick looking tablet pictured in front of Huang. The outspoken CEO didn't say a word about it -- or at least no one's reporting that he did -- leaving us to speculate. Could it be the long-rumored Apple tablet? Is it a Tegra-powered handheld? Maybe both.
With the release of Windows 7, tablet PCs are drawing a ton of attention, and if you don't mind getting your hands dirty inside a Dell Mini 9 netbook, you can roll your own.
The hack comes courtesy of Rob928 from MyDellMini.com and involves stripping off the lid, trimming down the hinges, and other somewhat scary tasks when dealing with electronics. The end result is that Rob928 was able to fuse a Dell Vostro A90 with a Hoda Technology solderless touchscreen kit. He also tossed in an accelerometer for good measure giving the homebrewed tablet the ability to automatically rotate the screen.
It's not easy, nor is it for the faint of heart, but for anyone willing to follow in Rob928's footsteps, this is one of the coolest mods we've seen in awhile.