Is it not incredible how fast Newspaper piles grow? While the stock used is very light, and possibly easily biodegradeable, the processes used to create it would have immense environmental impact- imagine how much paper could be saved if newspapers were somehow digitized into a format which offers an honest replacment for the physical version.
I accept that a laptop with internet connection might allow the daily ‘newspaper’ to be read at the table, but I would like to create a device that is more specific, and thus more accessible to the average reader. A dedicated digitalized version, which is engineered specifically to allow reading a newspaper in environments such as the kitchen table, beach, cafes, trains etc. is what I intend. It would use some form of modem to both download the daily news, and broadcast a code to the publisher which identifies the user and invoices them, on-line time would therefore be quite low. A payment system would be crucial, if this device is expressly designed to replace printed newspapers. A datalink directly to the publisher would be desirable, so no 3rd parties are involved.
For the device itself, I would like to look at flexible screens. For the main screen, a black and white format will be continued- is there some form of textile that could have minute points wired in that either depict black or white, thus forming a greater image? High-resolution is not important, insofar as a newspaper’s production values are not terribly high. I planned to have a device that folds down to the size of a rolled-up newspaper, with an open size about the same as a single tabloid sheet. So this format would support the idea of either a electrically controlled fabric as above, or some form of miniature projection device. A secondary screen of much smaller size could be used to enhance articles of interest with extra media. Interface controls would be very tactile, dealing with page turning, selecting articles of interest- possibly saving them to a hard drive, and connection/payment options.
The device could either be bought outright, the user then downloading newspapers from a variety of sources, paying each time; or it could be bundled with a subscription deal, automatically updated each day. Perhaps newsagents could provide stations to download the daily news, although this would waste the digital convenience.
I need to do some further brainstorming on numerous aspects, I just wanted to rough out the idea here for the moment.