Hearst Corp. revealed its first image and a few details about its Skiff Reader, the e-reader device for digital newspapers and magazines that it plans to preview at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The Skiff device is one of a number of wireless reading devices and services that are expected to be shown at CES. Rumor has it that the most anticipated of them, the Apple tablet, will be announced Jan. 24.
At one-quarter of an inch thick, the Skiff reader is the thinnest e-reader that’s been announced to date, Skiff claims. It measures 11.5 inches diagonally, making it bigger than the popular Amazon Kindle, which measures 9.7 inches, and Plastic Logic’s 11-inch screen. Presumably, it also makes an attractive option for newspaper and magazine publishers that are looking to create an interactive and dynamic representation of their publications on e-readers.
Hearst announced in December its plan to launch Skiff, an e-reader device and distribution service for print media. While publishers have fretted about the control that current e-readers exercise over their users, Hearst has said the Skiff model would return most of the subscription and ad revenue generated by e-reader editions to the contents’ publishers.
The Skiff device weighs a little over 1 pound and is built to last over a week of average use between charges, which the maker did not define. Sprint will provide 3G connectivity to the device and sell it at its retail locations, according to Skiff.
Much remains unknown about the device and service itself. Skiff didn’t disclose how much it would cost or when it would be sold, other than to say it would be available for sale later this year.
The company has said that a wide variety of newspapers, magazines, books and other content would be available on the device, but still has not specified which ones or if those would include Hearst’s own publications, which include Esquire and the San Francisco Chronicle.