A video of a new tablet reading device was released earlier this week. It shows how Sports Illustrated might be realized as a full-color, interactive, multimedia property.

It might also be the first glance at an Apple tablet reading device. Rumors at London Online this week are that such a device is closer to reality than ever, but this might also be idle pub talk.

Whoever makes this device — whether it’s Apple or not — success will largely depend on price, speed, and how hot it gets as you hold it. Oddly, I think, the content itself won’t be as critical to its success.

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Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson

Kent Anderson is the CEO of RedLink and RedLink Network, a past-President of SSP, and the founder of the Scholarly Kitchen. He has worked as Publisher at AAAS/Science, CEO/Publisher of JBJS, Inc., a publishing executive at the Massachusetts Medical Society, Publishing Director of the New England Journal of Medicine, and Director of Medical Journals at the American Academy of Pediatrics. Opinions on social media or blogs are his own.


2 Thoughts on "Is the Apple Tablet Being Previewed by “Sports Illustrated”?"

While I think it highly likely that a tablet similar to this will be available in the near (2010) future (most likely delivered by Apple followed by EHB, or Everybody and Her Brother), I am less confident that publishers could actually pull off a content product like this anytime soon. (SI is the exception–they have both the resources and the broad range of multi-media content).

The elegance of this demo belies the complexity of assembling something that sophisticated. Video would need to be produced and integrated with other content. Photos would need to be tagged so as to flow into the application in such a way as to be available in a variety of contexts. This will require sophisticated semantic tagging, application programming, and content management.

Development of an application with this level of sophistication, bringing together this range of media, will require that publishers transform themselves into information companies–organizations focused on delivering information in a wide variety of media via applications and integrated content platforms. That shift in thinking–and the organization restructuring necessary to support it–is something that I see few publishers moving towards fast enough (Developing a Kindle edition of one’s existing front list is not evidence of such a shift).

All that being said, if SI needs help developing the Interactive Tablet Swimsuit Edition, I could find some room in my schedule and subsequently share what I learn with the professional and scholarly publishing community.

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