At a Tokyo trade show, the tyre company Bridgestone (no less!) has dazzled the crowds with its o.3mm flexible e-Paper that has got to have Sony and Amazon feeling like they are soon to become the future of fish-and-chip wrappings!
Resembling a flexible piece of plastic, and complete with a touch screen surface provided by a WACOM tablet, the A4 sized full-colour capabilities are jaw-dropping. The ability to scribble-on-screen is ensuring Bridgestone’s 13” colour screen ‘has the future written all over it’. Though screen refresh (0.8 secs min) and price ($500+) is a little prohibitive presently, this is the first stab at a revolution for the print industry that has got Rupert Murdoch himself excited. Suddenly updateable newspapers and magazines are well within reach.
According to ePaperCentral, “unlike other e-paper devices like the Kindle and Sony’s 505/700, the Bridgestone model does not use E Ink based technologies. Instead, it uses a powerful technology built in house that could completely revolutionize e-paper called QR-LPD.”
When you contemplate that anywhere between 60% and upwards of all magazine content is advertising based, the potential for a hybrid online print media is mind-blowing. Magazines and newspapers currently account for over 30% of global media spend, and this technology will see the convergence of print and digital agencies as opposed to the current threat that print feels.
Consider the fact that consumers are willing to pay for magazines with such vast advertising exposure – often full screen, as the advertising enhances the experience as opposed to detracts from it – there is no reason to expect ePrint ads to be any different. Women want to see the latest Jimmy Choo’s or Gucci handbags, men want to see the golf clubs and gadgets – we are talking the most natural place for information with not just full-colour photos, but full-screen interactive video; I am talking full on product demos at a user’s choosing, served by your friendly, global ad management platform! 😉
Now the OPA are pushing for larger formats, we may still find a backlash on current PC & laptop monitors as consumers are used to much smaller “banners” online, but e-Paper is the best bet yet at taking an already established advertising model and enhancing it with real-time insertion of measurable full-screen videos. Taking something small and making it big could be seen as intrusion, yet taking print and making it interactive I predict will no doubt be seen as enhancement, in the same way as digital outdoor currently is.
With HP and Fujitsu already pushing e-Paper, Bridgestone is the latest Kindle-killer to the market. Expect normal paper to go the way of papyrus very soon – and then feel happy about saving the trees…