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News Flash From the Cover of Esquire: Paper Magazines Can Be High Tech, Too

What You Should Have Read, July 21, 2008

Published on .

News Flash From the Cover of Esquire: Paper Magazines Can Be High Tech, Too

The New York Times reports on Esquire's 75th anniversary cover, which will declare, "The 21st Century Begins Now." What's remarkable about that cover line is that it will be part of an electronic cover, using admittedly rudimentary technology set to appear on newsstands in September. Esquire had to make a six-figure investment to hire an engineer in China to develop a battery small enough to be inserted in the magazine cover. The batteries and the display case are manufactured and put together in China, then shipped to Texas and on to Mexico, where the device is inserted by hand into each magazine. The issues will then be shipped via trucks, which will be refrigerated to preserve the batteries, to the magazine's distributor in Glazer, Ky. The company that produced the cover, E Ink, has a track record of innovation — its technology is used in Amazon.com's e-book device, the Kindle. E Ink, a private company based in Cambridge, Mass., counts Hearst, Esquire's parent, as a major shareholder. Ford Motor sponsored the move, and will have an ad on the inside of the cover that will use the same technology to promote its new minivan-sport utility vehicle, the Flex.
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