November 11, 2008

More Plastic Logic news from DemoFall show

Original Post from September 9th 2008.

I suspect this is the beginning of a steady stream of news related to the new PlasticLogic product I covered two posts ago, announced recently.

Here I have an update from "DemoFall".

"Why would you want an Amazon Kindle, which is kind of bulky, not too attractive, and of limited scope when you could have a real digital document reader that is thin, easy to use, and very strong?

That's the business case from Plastic Logic, one of the first companies to be on stage at DemoFall this morning.

The company's plastic reader is designed to store dozens or hundreds of business documents on a very thin digital reader. It can store e-books, magazines, newspapers, PDFs and all kinds of information, the company said.

It's made with plastic, not glass, meaning that it is designed to be strong and to be able to stand up to being hit with objects or, presumably, even dropped.

It looks pretty cool, and is said to weigh only ounces, "not pounds," has a battery that lasts days and can be read in bright daylight.

The company hasn't given this product a name yet, and it's not clear when it will be available. But Plastic Logic said it is opening a Germany manufacturing plant later this month (September 17) , so it shouldn't be too long."

You can watch a YouTube video from the show floor showing a working prototype (I assume) device. Based on the English accent of the presenter I suspect she is a Plastic Logic employee. It starts out pretty crappy (especially audio), but then improves and gives a good summary of the product.

Here's my take on it based on that video:

  • Thin - no surprises, but I suspect it will be a surprise experience when you hold one.
  • Light - this makes more sense now, due to loss of weight of glass, and loss of weight due to the need for a rigid chassis for the glass. I suspect this will be a surprise experience too - it was for me when I held the incredibly light READIUS device with plastic display.
  • Touch - in the demo pages are passed with what looks like a light touch on the corner of the page, and she refers to using the touchscreen to mark-up documents.
  • Size - as advertised, close to A/A4 size. This opens up some interesting possibilities, including real Newspaper layouts, and the ability to view full-page A/A4 PDF documents without zoom/pan or reformatting from source information for display. No mention is made of resolution so I'll assume around the same as Sony/Amazon/iRex or slightly less due to increased size. I suspect that the format will be a killer feature for business users as it will ease tremendously the integration of the device in business "workflows" with e-mails and attachments able to be copied/synced (a good job on the software pending). Not many other providers would show demos of material like a project plan Gaant chart! If the touchscreen and software are good, it could be very nice to interact with.

They close with a comment about color in 3-5 years. so don't wait for that but maybe save your X-mas $$$$ for this in the Spring...although it seems to be a more business focused device, and so maybe those are Q2 expenses you need to be shooting for....they state a goal of "first half of 2009" but with the customary delays in such new products it maybe more like Q4 $$$$

Here are other links to (more or less) the same news:-

and finally, if you just can't get enough.... you can goto the Plastic Logic web page where they list a lot of the different coverage of it, and no doubt will be adding to it also....

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