The Newsboy was originally conceived in late 2008. It was supposed to be a flexible tablet/ereader with a color E-ink screen. It was designed by Propeller, a Swedish firm, in partnership with Halmstad University (Media IT), SVID, and the Swedish Newspapers’ Association as a part of the European project Diginews.
Aside from the flexible screen, there’s nothing in the videos that would surprise us these days. Active email notifications? Old hat. Location aware ads? That was doable in 2009. Browsing the web when you should be working? Guilty as charged.
Still, it’s interesting to see how much they got right. About the only detail wrong in the videos is the flexible screen. As great as the idea was, it didn’t survive the iPad. And now that everyone is used to carrying around a 10″ tablet, I’m not sure that we will ever see it.
If anyone wants to give me a Newsboy, I won’t turn it down.