The Skiff device is first to feature “metal foil” e-paper technology from LG Display, enhancing durability by eliminating the fragility of a glass display. This next-generation of e-paper display is based on a thin, flexible sheet of stainless-steel foil.
At just over a quarter-inch in overall height, the device is the thinnest e-reader announced to date. It features the largest and highest-resolution electronic-paper display yet unveiled in a consumer device, at 11.5” in size (measured diagonally) and a resolution of 1200 x 1600 pixels (UXGA). The device weighs just over one pound and lasts over a week of average use between charges.
The Skiff Service will deliver newspapers, magazines & books to the e-Reader via Sprint’s 3G Wireless Network. In addition to 3G, the Skiff Reader will also support wireless connectivity via WiFi.
The full touch-screen enables users to intuitively navigate and engage with the newspapers, magazines, books and other digital content they purchase through the Skiff Store, as well as personal and work documents.
“The Skiff Reader’s big screen will showcase print media in compelling new ways,” said Gilbert Fuchsberg, president of Skiff, LLC. “This is consistent with Skiff’s focus on delivering enhanced reading experiences that engage consumers, publishers and advertisers.”
“The forthcoming launch of the Skiff Reader is an exciting development for consumers who are looking for more and more choice in the arena of embedded devices,” said Dan Dooley, president wholesale solutions, Sprint. “We have witnessed a strong demand for e-readers in recent years and now Sprint is showing its commitment to Skiff by making this new device available on the 3G network and for sale in Sprint retail stores.“
Ready for your Kindle alternative? Skiff might be it. Might. We had a chance to sit down with the team to go hands-on with the 11.5-inch e-Reader. As a device, the near final prototype was big pushing an impressive 1,600 x 1,200 resolution -- enough to stuff an entire page of the New York Times up front including advertisements and still maintain readability. Mind you, it's not an exact republication, content has been modified to account for advertisements which, for better or worse, is part of the Skiff publishing model. Fortunately, we found it impossible to differentiate between the locally served ads and those you're already accustomed to seeing inside your favorite newspaper. But as far as competition goes, Skiff isn't hedging its bets on a single device -- this is a publishing platform. As such, Skiff showed us a total of four different devices accessing its content: a color e-reader prototype, and Skiff apps running on a Palm Pre, Viliv MID, and of course the Linux-based black and white reader launching sometime this year. They even promised an iPhone app as you'd expect with synchronization across all your devices (at least as many as the DRM will allow). Skiff tells us that an Android device is also in the works.
I just got a chance to play with the big-screened, touchscreened Skiff Reader, which is targeted at periodicals. It's incredibly thin, incredibly light, and they've even got a color screen prototype—Kindle and Nook should be scared.