E-Ink Update: Print Editions Of US Magazine To Include A Free paper thin Video Player


Leigh I do hope for some leeway on this thread…

This is a big deal: and it affects the job outlook of our industry in a HUGE way.
This has the potential of changing our industry as big as the internet revolution back in the 90’s.

And I am not kidding.

As some of you know for years I have been posting on the forum
threads about the upcoming E-ink revolution.

Some of the OLD threads are:
[li]Reuters: New E-Paper Could Show Moving Images Too[/li][li]New markets in CG: Animation in Clothing?[/li][li]Sony Launches First Commercial E-Paper Display Reader[/li][li]For what applications would you use E-ink?[/li][/ul]Yesterday a bombshell was dropped …
“CBS, PepsiCo and Entertainment Weekly plan to include a color video ad in the September 18 issue of Entertainment Weekly sent to Los Angeles- and New York-area subscribers. A paper-thin interactive video player that will start to load a video when a reader open the magazine to the ad pages.”


Here is more information on the product:


Now think what this means for the computer graphics, graphic design and motion graphics industry. Imagine aworl where ALL ADS have to be animated. Not only that, imagine a world of cheap display devices EVERYWHERE. You could have animated wall papers, animated grocery signs, hell in a restaurant the mantle could be used to order your food.There is a reason why Windows 7 has multitouch display tech build in.

Looking forward to your comments.



As Ray Kurzweil has said for decades, the pace of technological change is accelerating exponentially and we are getting into a stage where paradigm shifts are happening much faster than ever before.

Although this is huge for us content producers, from a citizen’s POV it sort of makes my stomach turn to imagine everything constantly moving, all fighting with one another to grab your attention with garish colors and flashes. If left unchecked it will lead to visual pollution and sensory overload eventually.

  It's the sort of thing where you'd want zoning laws to keep it from getting out of control. The strip at Vegas is enough already for me.


This sort of thing has been going on in the wizarding world for over seven years now.

More seriously, I want to know how I can get my hands on one of those issues of Entertainment Weekly.


I hope this don’t lead to a need of new cheap animators.


Some people have asked me what is the the big deal of this?

The thing that need to the streess about e-ink displays are Three things:
1) Energy
2) Size
3) Cost

E-ink is a new display technology that only needs energy to change an image being displayed. All display tech before e-ink (plasma, LCD, Cathode Tube) neeed energy to display an image. Two years ago I talked to the devloper of E-Ink @ SIGGRAPH ans he has had images that have stayed up for YEARS without energy.

Since it is a material it can be any size. And it is flexible too.
In theory you coul have displays the size of a wall in your house.

And since it is material the cost of mass production of these display technologies
is REALLY LOW. This is why it is being paired up with print media.

Think about it.

Imagine rooms with animated wallpaper.
-ANY surface could become a TV or a computer terminal.
-Imagine changing road signs as needed.
-Imagine camouflage that changes depending on the environment.
-Imagine rooms on a building that can project on all its wall the view outside.
-Imagine 3D images on wallpapers, that change-distort their perspective depending on where you are standing in the room.

  • Postage stamps could be animated!
  • Business cards that automatically update when your contact details change!

Here are some pics of my conversation with him…


Yeah, I thought that children’s shows of today were bad enough with all of the flashing and constantly twitching scenes, at least I can turn the tube off. This could be everywhere. What a nightmare it would be.


From a CG perspective, imagine getting a magazine that has the video tutorial built right into the magazine instead of an accompanying CD. These things hold… 40 (?) minutes of video. This could seriously change the way 3D mags are produced and enjoyed. Beyond that, imagine being able to actually see CG short films in the magazine instead of just being given hyperlinks to them.

I’d certainly call that a game changer, as long as the cost is low and it doesn’t make the magazine unwieldy.

My only concern comes from the version(s) bundled with USB plugs. Those things will make the “insert” huge. Somebody will have to come up with a way of incorporating the plug without making the whole page super thick.

After that, I think that the next commercial hurdle will probably be to make the pages not as thick as those musical greeting cards.

Still… Cool times. I remember reading about this stuff a while back. It has certainly progressed much further than the B&W OG Gameboy-like versions.


At some point it will all be wireless.


Animated wallpaper is oddly reminiscent to me of “parlor walls.” Anyone read Fahrenheit 451?


I was under the impression that this tech was ‘paper’ thin…that first YouTube video shows a book-like device with a USB connection and a tiny screen? Perhaps I’ve missed something but it didn’t look very impressive to me.


I got the EInk Esquire magazine almost a year ago. It was interesting for about 20 minutes.


So…has anyone seen the actual video ads in this issue? It was supposed to have published a few days ago, right?


Yeah, magazine ads are one thing- wallpapering a room like a million dollar “cube” setup for a fraction of the price? Incredible!

I imagine the energy consumption for cube vr systems based on this would be a fraction of what an actual cube would use.

This will be huge.

Could it be the end of expensive tv sets? Instead of buying a box, we’d pay a tradesman to paper our walls.

When we can do that, there will be a huge market for sandbox VR worlds to switch on at will. Like those fishtank apps, but much more sophisticated. Also 360 degree webcams in interesting places - paying for a stream from, for example, the Amazon rainforest or an iceshelf in Antartica…


Hmmm. Wall sized porn? Nah that would be crazy.


Oh believe me it will.

“Can you do this 5 minute animation for under $200?”

“YES! Cause I live in a trailer, my workstation runs on a pedal power generator, and I recycle my own urine for drinking water.” :banghead:

Despite that though. I think its an amazing technology and I’m looking forward to when its going to hit the wide market (I mean for all of us)
Especially the wallpaper idea is pretty neat. If those displays are indeed cheap, you can build yourself a whole VR room out of these.


This might be a great way to open up artists to new venues.

I can see this revitalizing the comic book industry, killing the stores maybe, but bringing some new things to the fore.



Finally, I can build a bunker and replace all the interior lights with ‘faux sun’ lights and then I can make fake windows showing whatever vista I want. I can live safely underground on a cheap acreage in the midwest but once inside, it’s be like living in Tony Stark’s house on a seaside cliff.

What is this gonna do to the highrise condo market?


I expect this technology to take off in the pornography genre before anywhere else. Sad but true.

Now if you can give me some of this nifty e-ink “paper” to “print” my own animations, then I will be very excited :slight_smile:


Just don’t show this to the guys in payroll… or they’ll set your pay to start high and end low by the time you go and cash your cheque… (or in my case, start low and end lower!)


Does it come with e-tissues