When you pay attention to technology and technology trends, you begin to see (and it’s sad to see) how some industries are dying and will continue to vanish away. Not necessarily the businesses themselves, but the way in which they operate. Digital content and digital content delivery are replacing the printed page in nearly every respect. Some of the rapid strides and changes within the newspaper, signage, and magazine world has been spurned by unforeseen economic tailwinds, but others are due to jumps in technological advances. The remainder of this post will discuss some of the areas in which print is being replaced by digital.
Newspapers, Books, Magazines, and Signs
Digital paper has been something shouted in the blogosphere for sometime. Some major players have been introducing e-paper technology, including LG. E-paper will most likely be implemented into laptop-style devices, replace e-readers like the Kindle, and be used for unique applications like hand held digital menus. I would have loved to have an e-paper to replace all the crazy books I had to read during my schooling years.
In the realm of e-readers, books will be most likely continue to become an unnecessary item. While some will stick to the old ways saying they like having and smelling the book in their hands, a generation will see the rise of electronic books. This solution will save trees, space, and increase overall efficiency and time. However, publishers will most likely not enjoy it in the slightest. Similarly, magazines will also certainly see a decrease in the years to come. Perhaps at the retail stand, instead of magazines, we’ll see bluetooth-powered signs which allow for an e-reader to be updated via your mobile device remotely, allowing you to get the latest issue of People or Better Homes and Gardens.
We do a lot of talking here at the digital sign blog about signs, especially the digital form. Of course static print signs are and will continue to go digital, but LCDs will not be the method for all future deployments. Perhaps they’ll be replaced by Laser Phosphor Displays or even large-format e-paper technology, specially made for digital signage. The software that manages the content will most likely remain, but improve. The display devices will certainly change drastically. One thing is for sure, the printed sign universe is over.
The Integrated Technologies Making it All Happen
Without the Internet, and networks in general, we would be up a creek without a paddle. Interestingly enough, digital could not replace printed without first having the networks in place for content delivery and content management, whether that content is written or in the form of dynamic videos and Flash. In addition, cellular and mobile technology, whether you’re using 3G to connect to the web in general or if you are integrating mobile marketing, the infrastructure allows it all to happen. E-readers, digital signs, and laptops will all have reliance on cellular broadband technology for getting new and refreshing content.
Management software of the devices we are speaking is perhaps the most important component. Without the content management software, any type of display (e-reader, smartphone, digital sign, e-book) would not be able operate properly. Finally, the hardware is a key component which gives digital a boost. Without different types of digital displays, computer motherboards and robust peripherals the digital revolution could not take place.
Finally, digital content creation will be needed as networks continue to push content to the devices which were once printed. But content itself, of course, is a topic for another day.