January 5, 2010

Skiff Reveals New E-Reader

U.S. start-up company Skiff revealed more details on Monday of its much-anticipated electronic reader, which is somewhat larger than Amazon's hot-selling Kindle and allows users to read newspapers and magazines as well as books.

Skiff's reader sports a 11.5 inch screen, about two inches larger than that of the Kindle DX, and is now the thinnest e-reader at just a quarter of an inch, the company said.

According to Skiff, which was incubated by U.S. newspaper and magazine publisher Hearst Corp., Skiff partner Sprint Nextel will be providing the wireless connectivity for the device that weighs just over one pound, reported AFP.

The new device will be made available in Sprint stores across the nation and online later this year, but Skiff has yet to say how much the device will cost.

Skiff sets itself apart from the Kindle by offering more than just book-reading ease. The company said its device is the "first e-reader optimized for newspaper and magazine content."

"The Skiff Reader's big screen will showcase print media in compelling new ways," Skiff president Gilbert Fuchsberg said in a statement.

"This is consistent with Skiff's focus on delivering enhanced reading experiences that engage consumers, publishers and advertisers," he added.

The black-and-white touchscreen e-reader will feature next-generation "metal foil" e-paper technology from LG Display.

Skiff said the thin, flexible sheet of stainless-steel foil is an improvement from the "fragile glass that is the foundation of almost every electronic screen."

The new reader will be unveiled at the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) which opens in Las Vegas later this week.

As print advertising revenue evaporates and circulation erodes, US newspaper and magazine publishers have been looking to carve out a future on the Internet and with e-readers and mobile devices.

Unfortunately, online advertising revenue has been a letdown and advertisers and readers have been generally unimpressed by the presentation of newspapers and magazines on e-readers and smartphones.

Skiff's reader would also display advertisements alongside newspaper or magazine articles, which is something current e-readers, designed more for e-books than periodicals, do not offer.

"We think it's the speediest reader yet," said Fuchsberg.

"We've got some things that we can do that you've never been able to do on e-ink screens before."


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