To celebrate their 75th birthday, the October cover of Esquire magazine features an ‘e-ink’ cover created by E Ink, an American company founded in 1997 based on research started at the MIT Media .
The Esquire cover is pretty basic from a functionality perspective, simply flashing a message exclaiming ‘the 21st Century Begins Now’ on the cover and an animated ad inside. There doesn’t appear to be any interactivity at all. It’s bit of a ‘look what we can do’ gag as opposed to actually advancing magazine publication beyond what they were doing 150 years ago.
This throws up an interesting debate about the future of print vs. the web and how much people still like to read a physical object or whether they prefer the interactivity of the web. Think Amazon’s Kindle (also an E Ink product) or the Plastic Logic Reader.
Sadly it’s in the US only, but judging by the logistics involved (refrigerated shipping!) I’m not surprised.