Wednesday, April 8, 2009

An Idea: A NewsPaper with Touch E-Ink

Seth Godin claims that the end of the newspapers is near. So I thought I would propose something to the newspapers firms.

1. E-Ink Technology
My idea is to create an E-Ink paper (Electronic Ink).
This E-Ink paper is much better than the screen because it feels like reading a regular ink, yet it possess the electronic capabilities.
The paper can also be folded.

2. Built-in HSDPA
The paper includes a built-in HSDPA that allows the connection to the internet.3. Touch Sensor
This paper will have a touch sensor (you may call it the touch paper)
4. One Button
The paper will have one button only called update. Using this I can see today's newspaper with this button.

5. Horizontal Slide Flips the page
I can go to the next page with a horizontal slide (just like the IPhone) I can go to the previous page if I slide back.

6. Vertical Sliding Controls the Details
This is interesting, If you however slide vertically you will be able to control the level of details in the news! More details slide up.. less details slide down

7. Filter the News
Now here is the fun part, I can filter the news based on my favorites. Give me economic pages, show me the columns related to this author only etc..

The Technology Behind it
Now this cannot be done with the touchpaper alone. The newspapers must have some standard (e.g. XML). So every column can have a predefined tags like category and an author.

The newspapers company will win because they will save the printing costs and they will also save the editing costs in case of any editing error, in this case they just need to update the XML and that's it! Everybody gets it.


  1. hi Mr. Hussein;
    there is a device called Kindle 2, you can find it in, it almost has the same features written in your article except that it has not touch screen

  2. @Anonymous
    Thanks for the comment yes I heard about the Kindle2 infact I wanted to have one but Unfort. Amazon don't deliver to the international customers.

    Yes I remembered it supports news paper too..
    Hope we'll get it soon and work it out to a E-Ink Paper ..

  3. Nice concept, Hussein.

    Yes, I also heard about the Kindle but the problem with it is that it only supports a propriety format. It does not support open standards—It does not even have native support for pdf. Well, you can do conversions but it is not always guaranteed to render properly.

    Your device, on the other hand, supports XML which is an open standard. That will make your device more flexible. And indeed it is flexible—in another sort of way—because you can fold it! That's the Kindle on steroids, man.

    Sliding vertically to control the level of detail is also innovative. Imagine being able to choose between a summary view and a full view. You can read just the summary of stories which does not interest you that much and the full details of those you are interested in. This and the ability to change layout and formatting (by virtue of XML and using different style sheets) truly empowers the consumer of information. And an easy way to update sure won't hurt.

    Great post.

  4. @Cody,
    As usual you keep adding more value explaining the device pros.

    I don't know about the kindle that much I didn't knew that it didn't support pdf!

    Anyway, we should use XML because it can be controled PDF cannot be controlled but we can support it disabling the LOD (Level of Details) feature ..

    One more thing to add ..
    to zoom we need to use the same Iphone concept..

    drag both your fingers out to zoom out.. both fingers in to zoom in ..

    I need to know more on the stylesheets how we could use stylesheets with XML?

    thanks Cody

  5. Yes, kindle does not support pdf. I only knew about it lately. If you have a pdf, you have to convert it first to Amazon's format (.azw, I think) or moby format. The problem is that the result of this conversion is hit or miss—sometimes it renders well, sometimes it doesn't.

    Your choice of XML is very good since it is a standard format for information exchange just like feeds (and even config files). And you are right, XML can be manipulated easily in order to implement the LOD. It would be difficult to implement LOD without using XML.

    As to style sheets, those are just formatting rules. Style sheets are to XML as CSS is to HTML or XHTML. In fact, CSS is a kind of style sheet.

    You markup the structure of news articles using XML such as <headline></headline> or <column></column> and use style sheets to specify how those elements display—like, make the headline appear bold and a column appear with a particular font face.

    That makes your content flexible because users could use different style sheets if they want different formatting. For instance, an older reader might prefer a larger font and higher contrast so, he can just use a different style sheet that does just that. Your content is the same; only the formatting is changed so that it caters to a wider audience.

  6. @Cody

    converting the PDF is not a good idea as you said,

    Style sheet is Nice approach!
    Now I get the concept of style sheets its basically using the Tags in a particular format..

    this will be added to the product for sure :D

  7. "Now I get the concept of style sheets its basically using the Tags in a particular format.."

    That is exactly it.

  8. Style sheet for XML is XSLT, XSLT can be used to transform xml to other formats like XHTML


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