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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hey, remember Minority Report?

Moving images in print publications have long been featured in science fiction films set in the distant future. Well, it looks like the distant future is September 18th, 2009! That is when CBS will be running video ads in Entertainment Weekly Magazine!

From cnet.
'The technology for the battery-powered ads was manufactured by a Los Angeles-based company called Americhip, and each ad can handle about 40 minutes of video.'

40 minutes!? Holy crap! If they could push the tech a little more you could be watching one hour dramas while you wait around at the Doctor's office. Speaking of the tech, here is a little more.

'The screen, which is 2.7 millimeters thick, has a 320x240 resolution. The battery lasts for about 65 to 70 minutes, and can be recharged, believe it or not, with a mini USB cord--there's a jack on the back of it. The screen, which uses thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT LCD) technology, is enforced by protective polycarbonate. It's a product that has been in development at Americhip for about two years, spokesman Tim Clegg told CNET News via e-mail.'

That's effin sweet! So are they using this tech for good or evil? Well, they're advertising shows like TWO AND A HALF MEN! Does that answer your question? George Schweitzer, CBS marketing president, tries to explain himself.

"The evolution of marketing television in the fall--it used to be as simple as this," Schweitzer said, holding up a vintage copy of TV Guide. "It was axiomatic in those days. If you took an ad in TV Guide, people watched your program. Not anymore."

Yeah, because actually making the shows good so people would want to watch them would have been harder than creating groundbreaking tech.

Changing gears here, I want to address the environmental impact. These ads are really just little LCDs, right? I am pretty sure that the stuff in them isn't great for ecosystem. So what happens when we start filling magazines and newspapers with these things? Before long they're going to be on cereal boxes and beer cans too. So if this tech catches on we're talking billions of little LCD's being created for essentially one time usage. What do we do with our copies of EW when we're done with them? Can we still recycle them? Or do we have to tear the ads out first? If so, how many people do you think will do that? Then we'll have LCDs and paper being dumped into landfills.

When looking around for some info about the environmental impact of LCDs, I ran across this little article. And hey, its from cnet as well!

'A chemical used to make LCD televisions and semiconductors could cause more global warming than coal-fired power plants, a report warns.'

Well that's just great. Seems a high price to pay just let people know about a new season of How I Met Your Mother. Read both articles and then have an opinion.

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