Feb 16, 2010

Digital Publishing: Adobe's Pulling Punches On iPad w/ WIRED (VIDEO)

Got a link this morning that said it would be about how WIRED is prepping their new form of digital publishing for the iPad, though it's actually an Adobe commercial about how Flash is keeping up with the technology.

These concepts they're showing are obviously awesome, and I'm sure specifically Adobe's bidding war for WIRED exclusivity was an arm and a leg alone. WIRED clearly has a lot of tricks up their sleeve that they've been holding off for a while in anticipation, and I'm really pleased that the ideas go beyond the concepts Popular Science had in their video (which I blogged about earlier before the iPad was announced).

As they say in the video, it's a really exciting time for publishing. And that could be said for all content publishing, not just magazine print. Andy Ihnatko had a prediction that as soon as Apple announced their product, every computer manufacturer and design software company would finally release their products to compete head-to-head (they just held back so far to simply know what they'd be up against), and that's clearly been happening in only a short month.

Not only are the concepts here really great, as I said, but this is also going to be a really huge year simply in terms of how any publisher online is presenting their content. One major site that I know of is changing their layout entirely in a way that really takes advantage of how it interacts with multi-touch (and yet is still perfectly functional via keyboard and mouse).

One final note I think is pretty interesting is how a lot of publishers and advertisers have basically been setting the stage for this kind of media, whether they were aware of it or not. Shopping malls have been using large plasma screens lately to add life to their images (literally the case with the movie posters for Step Brothers and Bride Wars), and two years ago Esquire made a really huge change in their pipeline by doing their Megan Fox cover shoots with a RED One video camera (instead of the standard medium-format).

The only downside, of course, to all of this is how WIRED will be having to using Flash for their site, which will make things slow, large, difficult to search and share, and hold everything behind a different kind of paywall that a lot of publishers are playing with. Competition's good: it'll bring a ton of creative and technical innovation that'll be really exciting, but it'll also bring a long road of awkward pricing and saturation in the market (like the music industry, film industry and now e-book industry). I predict it'll actually be around 3 years for the print-publishing industry to make sense of it.

UPDATE: Volvo announces touchscreen-based rear seat entertainment system
Evidence that hardware and software manufacturers were just waiting for Apple to announce something before launching their products, and proof that everything (everything) moving in the multi-touch direction.