Cutting Through the Mire of Tablet Issue Production

first_imgEach publisher has approached tablets at its own pace, with its own purpose. The result has left a scattered set of protocols across the industry.The International Digital Enterprise Alliance (IDEAlliance), an association serving players across the digital media supply chain, is attempting to simplify the process of tablet issue production by eliminating many of the competing formats and workflows. The goal is an industry standard called OpenEFT—guidelines to direct the packaging, delivery and display of digital magazines for everyone in the ecosystem. OpenEFT’s final draft was unveiled late last month.“We, as publishers, would like to be able to provide a designed-for-tablet, interactive edition to all the newsstands,” says Sean Keefe, executive director of publishing technology for Hearst Magazines. “But right now, not all of them take the same file formats.”The benefits for publishers are two-fold. Tablet issue production would become a more efficient process, while the barriers to third-party innovation would be lowered. Tablet issue production can be convoluted now. Hearst currently produces up to three formats (and several variants) of its magazines, depending on the brand and the newsstand they’re working with; Next Issue Media, a digital newsstand, is forced to adapt about six formats for its storefront. Many of those conversions are labor intensive and require quality assurance testing at multiple points.Ideally, says Keith Barraclough, CTO and vice president of products for Next Issue, the exchange of files would be simplified, QA would only be needed once and the process could be automated.“Whether OpenEFT can do all this as it goes through its standardization process and tools and manufacturers come along and adopt, that’s all a big ‘TBD,’” he says. “But that’s the nirvana we’re looking for.”An open specification already exists, called ePub, but it was built to handle books, not magazines.“The orientation toward imagery, layout and the subtlety of the navigation of a magazine is something that’s evolved more,” Barraclough says.While Dianne Kennedy, vice president of emerging technologies for IDEAlliance, says OpenEFT is closely modeled after ePub, she adds that the need for tablet-optimized ad units is another major reason the book-centric format needed to be tweaked for digital magazines.Magazine staff have to manipulate the units from the agency, often without being exactly sure of how the final product was supposed to render. The costs and confusion make their use rare.“Magazines, unlike books, rely a lot on the ad model,” Kennedy says. “There is no specification for the exchange and rendering of this interactive content, so the magazines have been limiting the number of interactive ads they will accept.”Regardless of how or why they started with tablet editions, publishers will agree that improving production efficiency is beneficial.Now, it’s up to them to adopt the standard.last_img read more

LaMetrics flashy LED light panels are now available for preorder

first_img Aug 30 • Battling bot vacs: iRobot Roomba S9+ vs Neato Botvac D7 Connected Enlarge ImageLametric’s new color-changing LED wall panels are now available for preorder, and expected to ship by the end of this year. LaMetric Nanoleaf proved that there’s room for cloud-connected, color-changing LED lights on the walls of today’s smart homes, and it wasn’t long before Lifx followed suit with color-changing Lifx tiles of its own. Today, player three enters the game, with the mosaic-like LaMetric Sky now available for preorder.16-like-counter-lametric-skyEnlarge ImageArrange the LaMetric Sky panels into a rectangle, and you’ll be able to use them to display notifications and social media counts. LaMetric Early-bird pricing ranges from $172 for a four-panel starter kit (25% off of the expected retail price of $229) to $576 for a starter kit with the maximum allowable 16 panels (that’s 30% off of the expected retail price of $823).First spotted this past January at CES, the triangular Sky light panels are the second smart home offering from LaMetric, a 6-year-old startup based out of Ukraine. With 32 triangular zones of light on each panel, the things are capable of displaying intricate designs and animations. Arrange your panels into a rectangular shape, and you’ll also be able to automate them to display pixel-based icons and text notifications from social media or other third-party services — the same approach taken by the company’s first gadget, the LaMetric Time.  7 Photos LaMetric’s pixelated LED wall panels shine at CES 2019 The pixel aesthetic lets the panels display a custom code during setup, too. You’ll scan that visual code with your phone’s camera to pair them with the LaMetric app. From there, you can sync them up with Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant to turn them on and off, adjust the brightness or trigger your favorite scenes using voice commands. 14-sunset-integration-with-time-lametric-skyLaMetric’s panels are a follow-up to the LaMetric Time (the desktop doodad beneath the computer monitor there). Arrange your panels into a rectangle, and you’ll be able to display the same custom text and icons as that device. LaMetric LaMetric’s panels are touch-sensitive, too — tap one once to change to the next effect, or tap it twice to turn the panel off.The segmented design also helps set LaMetric’s panels apart from Nanoleaf’s and Lifx’s. Nanoleaf’s panels, including a hexagon-shaped version due out later this year, can each only put out one color at a time — a sharp contrast with the 32 individual zones of light that you get with LaMetric.Meanwhile, you can use the Lifx app to fingerpaint on the 64 zones of light on each Lifx Tile, but the zones aren’t sectioned off from each other like LaMetric’s. As a result, the colors bleed together like tie-dye, which is less than ideal for displaying icons and formatted text. CNET Smart Home See All Post a comment Tags LaMetric also tells us that it’s updated the design since CES to allow users to connect panels side to side, corner to corner or corner to side via the cables hidden in the back. Lifx offers similar versatility, but the execution was a bit clumsy when we tested Lifx’s Tiles out.We’ll see if LaMetric manages a little better when the Sky panels arrive at the end of this year. Expect a full review from the walls of the CNET Smart Home when that time comes. Google Assistant Alexa Siri Apple HomeKit IFTTT Aug 31 • Best smart light bulbs for 2019 (plus switches, light strips, accessories and more) Aug 31 • Alexa can tell you if someone breaks into your house Aug 30 • iRobot Roomba S9 Plus vs. Neato Botvac D7 Connected 0 Smart Home Share your voice 1:38 reading • LaMetric’s flashy LED light panels are now available for preorder • Get a look at LaMetric’s gorgeous, color-changing wall lights Now playing: Watch this: CNET Smart Homelast_img read more